Unreal didn’t describe it.
We’d lived in the house since our marriage day. Newborns brought home from the hospital to the house. Lots of pacing the hall at night. Countless deep discussions and passionate disagreements! Exquisite meals. Rugged and sweet friendships. Scorching weeks and tears. Unquenchably enthusiastic celebrations. All in the house.
The house was empty. Except for an echo and a mattress on one of the bedroom floors. We had moved all of our belongings out and we had one night left to sleep there. We thought sleeping in the same room on our last night, then getting up and walking out the door would make it easier on us.
Except I couldn’t sleep. It was a long night of tossing and turning. Intermittent crying. Near panic attacks. Catching my breath when I could. Heather holding me, praying for us, and being my backbone the best she could.
I had known that we would move, and that it was the right decision, but I had ignored this impending night for weeks. I had put it in the back of my mind.
And it hit me wildly. I was left in a state of brutal sentimentality. Questioning the entire decision.
As odd as it sounds (and on a much smaller pain scale, so as to not offend anyone!), it was the closest thing that I know to the process of laboring for a new child. Something new was coming and I knew that it would be beautiful, but I felt like I could barely make it through the night. And maybe I wanted to just give up.
A chapter was ending.
I thought about the scope of what we were “leaving.” From the week we were preparing to move in… standing in the living room amongst boxes when we received the news that our friend, Jody, had died… to getting the beautiful news about being pregnant with Jude… and then Lucy … to those who lived with us throughout our time there… to the moments where we decided to take steps on new adventures and step away from old ones… to the last night sitting on the hardwood floors in the empty living room eating pizza with a family who have been neighbors, roommates, friends, but primarily OUR family for the past ten years (and they continue to be that)…. Listening to the laughter of our four kids echo off of the skeletons of the house.
A big chapter was ending. And looking back, we were learning the Gospel from the beginning of the chapter to the end. We were always being readied to be sent.
On that day I realized that no matter where we moved, on this earth we would always be homesick.
And somehow, I found some beauty and comfort in that.