Greetings everyone, Rob here again. In the weekend we moved out of our old home and will spend this week finishing the packing and cleaning that goes with moving house. It’s a weird feeling. This was the first house that we bought together and so much happened in the 8 or so years that we were there. So while it’s been a busy time, it’s also been a time of remembering, celebrating and grieving as we say goodbye to a place that’s been pretty special to us.
I walk through the house and see the bedrooms of our two precious children. When we first moved in we didn’t know if we were ever going to be parents. We had lost our first through miscarriage and infertility had followed. It was a heartbreaking time, but through prayer, medical advice and a change in lifestyle, two years after we moved in we welcomed our son Jake into the world. Two years after that we said hello to his sister Jasmine. God was so good to us that I still shed tears when I look back on that time. God saved our marriage in that house. He took us through counselling, led my wife Kiley to a great support network, led me through a ‘wild at heart’ journey and gave our marriage the divine strength that we had always desired. As I continue my walk through the house I see the work that Kiley’s father had done before Motor Neuron disease took its horrible toll on him. I also rejoice that in his final months he got to see his granddaughter and enjoyed some peace with his family in our home. I see Nana working tirelessly as usual, and am reminded that it’s not the house but the relationships that exist in it that make it a home.
I also believe that our physical environment affects our internal world, however. We respond internally to external beauty and external grimness. Our house was old and basic, but when the sun poured in on a summer’s morning, the spring flowers came out and the barbecue came out for a dinner with friends it became beautiful. We planted a cherry blossom tree in memory of our unborn child and while its blossom was fleeting, it was a beautiful moment when it was in full bloom.
The house exists in a fairly rough part of town. God has kept us safe despite our penchant for forgetting to lock the car door, the back door or shut the windows! The street has settled down somewhat. There used to be fights on a fairly regular basis, but now the most common sight is the neighbourhood kids racing by on their bikes. They started to drop in and visit and while it was challenging at times we will miss those opportunities to feed Jesus to them. I pray for them, that they will be hungry and thirsty for Christ and that he will keep them safe from harm.
These memories help to shape us but they don’t own us. They don’t keep us from moving on as God moves us on. We hold onto Christ who is living and active and on the move in our city, our neighbourhoods and in our lives. We are moving because he has called us to a new neighbourhood, new people and a new way of living. He will give us new memories and moments because he remains with us. He will be the Lord of our new home also. But we’re also grateful for the memories of our first home. They are our testimony to God’s love, faithfulness and intimate counsel. They are a witness that Christ makes his home in us as we trust in him as Paul puts it in Ephesians 3:17, and we pray with him that our roots will grow down into God’s love and keep us strong.
Blessings everyone. Enjoy the video.