Friday, January 9, 2009

A Place Called Home

What I used to call home
Being back here in Florida for a couple of weeks has in many ways been an incredible time of having my eyes opened to many things that I just didn't notice our perhaps couldn't notice when I lived here every day. I have seen myself and how God has used our move to Colorado in such a new light and have been humbled by how much God desired to heal so mAlign Centeruch in me that He orchestrated such a drastic change in my life to accomplish so much in this crusty ol' heart of mine. As I have engaged the true emotions of my heart and spent time traveling through the streets of this place I call home I have had the past flood my mind and heart. Memories fill my mind as I travel down a certain road or have coffee in my favorite coffee shop or I reminisce with friends. Many of these memories are moments in time from my past that are precious and stir such happy emotions while some are deeply painful. It is those deeply painful ones that have caused me to ponder my growth and healing over the past 4 1/2 months. The "lightbulb" moment of just how far God has brought me overwhelmed me the other day as I was taking the beautiful scenic drive along the river where we live. It is a drive that I have taken hundreds of times and one that leads me past a house that I love. It is a house that Mike and I designed and built just after we were married. A house that I had poured all of myself into and the physical place where some of the most precious memories of my life were made. It also is a place where I lost one of the most treasured gifts I will ever know, my son Connor. As you can imagine the emotions which are tied to this home are deep. When we built this house I envisioned Mike and I raising our kids there, growing old there and ultimately being there until I went to be with the Lord in my Heavenly home but as life would direct us along a different path we sold our beloved home in exchange for a condo which was more handicap accessible for our son Connor. It was during the time that we were awaiting the completion of our condo that my Connor made his way to Heaven. The house was already sold and we were renting from the new owners until the condo was completed. The day that we left this house rich with memories was horribly difficult. My sweet sister held me as I wept on that day wishing some how I could go back in time to a place when all was grand and the house was filled with the joyful life from our family but the truth on that day was that it was time to say goodbye and on that day I said goodbye, physically but not emotionally. For many years I would take this drive by "my house" and drive slowly grumbling at the new paint color on the front door or the removal of the playyard my dad built for the kids or the lack of care of the fruit trees that were so precious to my husband. I would be filled with a longing to walk up to the front door and beg for the new owners to give me my house back. I know it sounds so crazy but my heart was truly so tied to this home and I have come to realize that the hold that this physical place had on me was in fact a barrier to my healing and being able to hold onto the past and treasure it while letting it go at the same time.

And so I am driving this road once again the other day and as I approach this house I notice a few things that are different. I slow down and gaze upon the steps where I sat and watched Cody play on those warm Florida afternoons or the window of the room where my Connor slept and the garage that I drove in and out of hundreds of times with a car full of precious cargo and I realized I no longer had a longing to be in this house. It didn't bother me that there were changes and for the first time in 4 years it no longer felt like my home, I truly knew in my heart that it belonged to someone else. And so I thought why after all this time do I feel so different? Well, when God moved in our hearts and gave us a vision to move to CO, HE had a plan. And a part of HIS wonderful plan was to give me another place to call "home". Last year when God bestowed upon us the gift of our house in Colorado I could have never imagined that He was giving me more than a house. In an instant as I drove away from my former house I was flooded with some beautiful memories of my baby boy who I know is enjoying his face to face time with the God who made him. In a fast forward fashion I recalled things that I hadn't thought of in a long time and not once did a thought of the day he died invade my happy thoughts and almost as quickly as those thoughts rushed me the projection of thinking of the memories which are awaiting us at our home in Colorado....snowed in days with soup and hot cocoa, movie parties in the theater, sleepovers with a house full of giggling girls, lively basketball games in the driveway, a house full of teenagers, first dates, neighborhood parties, home group meetings and long dinners with dear friends. To say the least in the short 5 minute drive back to our condo I was overwhelmed, in a good way. And so, I said my final goodbyes to a place and a time of life that I loved. I hold in my heart all that is necessary to preserve my memories and no longer feel paralyzed to move forward and call my new house "home".


Becky said...

God is so good - thanks for sharing! We miss you tons! Our new Bible Study starts next week on the 20th and it will not be the same without you! HURRY HOME TO COLORADO!

Charlene said...

Oh, sweet Nichole, my heart was hurting and happy for you all in one. What a wonderful testimony to God's love for us. I am so glad you feel peace about this. Thank you so much for sharing.

sara said...

It is so tough when you have had so much "life" in one place! I am so thankful to hear how God is moving in your heart! We are incredibly blessed to share in life with you in COLORADO!!!! Now, Hurry HOME for sure :)

p.s. I haven't even used your hot tub ;)

Becki party of 5 said...

Oh Nichole, what a beautiful post. I just knew God had big plans for you in this move, but WOW! It's amazing to see your faith story grow so quickly...
Thanks so much for sharing.
God is good!

Jeanette said...

We serve such a tender and merciful God, don't we?! I always love reading your honest and beautifully written posts but most of all, I love your heart and willingness to share you deepest thoughts. So glad that the Lord brought you back, down that road again yet this time with memories or joy and excitement for the future.

I thought about you on Saturday as we had a layover in Denver!