Leaving Our Old House Behind
By Jessica Brodie
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” Hebrews 11:13
I stood in my living room, moving boxes piled floor to ceiling and a roll of packing tape in my hands, and wanted to cry. Or scream. I wanted my new house, and I wanted it now.
Soon someone else would own the home where my kids had gone from toddlers to preteens, and I’d be living in a much bigger space across town. But the memories swirled—here, the patch of carpet where my daughter learned to cartwheel. There, the hallway where my son raced his toy cars.
Yet it wasn’t mine any longer. I felt like a tiptoeing guest, trying not to muddy the carpet. “Home” represented the new house now, with its screened porch and pine trees. Still, with closing a week out, that one wasn’t mine yet, either. I didn’t belong to one, but the other wasn’t yet reality. I was caught in the in-between.
I imagine that’s how God’s early faithful listed in Hebrews 11 felt: one foot in heaven already. These devoted men and women—Abel, Noah, Abraham, Enoch, Sarah—stood out because they lived like God’s promises were true. “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
These children of the Lord were living on God’s promises, casting their hopes on tomorrow so fervently they no longer felt like people of earth but rather people of heaven.
My homeowner limbo was temporary, but as a Christian I straddle two worlds daily: earth and heaven. May I set my sights on God and His promises—just like the men and women of Hebrews.
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministryteam. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.
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