I walk down the hallway and stop at number 206. The two and six curve inward, the zero stands firm in the center. Two hundred and six. This number signifies a bit of who I am now.
I slide the large golden key from my hand into the lock and twist it, bumping my hip against the door when it opens. I walk in and stare, silently, at this one-bedroom apartment which has another name now: home.
It’s the first time I’ve moved out of my parents and lived on my own, so suffice it to say, I’m feeling like a pretty big deal. There’s a grey couch I scored from a second-hand website, my currently empty bookshelf, and boxes strewn everywhere.
I take a deep breath and sit on my couch. Ah, my first apartment. This is what I have been waiting for for so long. I went to school, graduated, got a job, made enough money to move out of my parents, packed a moving truck and got an apartment. This is exactly what I’ve wanted.
And still, I can’t help feeling as though there’s something missing here.
I take another deep breath. I wait for the feeling to come. The feeling of being . . . home.
But the longer I wait, the more I realize the feeling isn’t coming.
I do feel at home, in some sense. I don’t miss living at my other house with my parents (sorry, Mom), so it can’t be that. I now live about three minutes from my sister, so I don’t think I’m lonely or feeling far away. I can’t wait to add touches of who I am — paintings and pictures — to the walls in each room. But something’s still missing.
I close my eyes and picture Jesus. This is what I do when I need to get in touch with my own soul, when my heart is frothing and foaming or if it’s simply feeling calm. I close my eyes and see Him.
Doing this almost always makes me cry — I think because I know I am in the presence of a God who died for me, but even more so, because I know I am in the presence of my Friend.
Sometimes in these moments, I’ll hear Jesus speak to me. Sometimes I’ll see a picture form in my head. Other days, I hear and see nothing. But nonetheless, I know I am in His presence.
And this is when I realize it: this is home. Not my apartment, but the presence of Jesus. Wherever I am is turned into home if I am in the presence of Jesus. Or put another way, the presence of Jesus is my home, wherever I might be.
I love this one bedroom apartment. I am grateful to God for His kindness and provision. And I pray anyone who comes through my door leaves feeling peace. But even though Apartment 206 is my home on earth, my real true home is in the presence of Jesus Christ.
Jesus dwells within me, and each and every day, I want to make my home in His presence, until the day where I am truly called home to heaven.
We are all simply trying to find our way back home — and I know that home is not formed by bricks or couches or cul-de-sacs. It’s the presence of Jesus.
On earth and in heaven, He is home for me.
I wipe away my tears and hear a soft whispering along the edges of my heart and soul:
Welcome home, Aliza. Welcome home.
Jesus dwells within me, and each and every day, I want to make my home in His presence. -@alizalatta: Click To Tweet