I realized recently as I’ve been prepping my house for sale that “home” isn’t a place. It’s a feeling. I’ve been so shattered by having to leave this place of 19 years because it’s HOME. Home means more to me than an address, particularly, I imagine, because I lost mine at such a young age due to the death of my parents. The foundation and security that was tragically lost has been a gaping hole all of my life.

Now this. For the past three years, I have prayed fervently, hoping for CLEAR direction from God regarding whether or not to sell my house. I didn’t want to. Period. But my desire for obedience to Him trumps everything else. For nearly three years, I felt like the answers were obscure and even conflicting, so I stayed put, all the while continuing to ask Him for CLEARER direction. And He did. Unarguably clearly. I am SO thankful for that very easily discernible answer.

My head knew I had to do it, while my heart was breaking. I hit the ground running, preferring a sharp razor to the jugular over a butter knife in the heart. Getting this house ready to list has been one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever undertaken single-handedly, accompanied now by purging and packing single-handedly.

What an amazing journey these past nearly three months have been. God has neon-signed me in more ways than I can count and has also shown Himself to me through more people than I can count.

He has also taught me this concept of home. It truly is a feeling—not a place. After the deaths of my parents as a kid, my sense of home became our “chosen family’s” home, where I never actually lived. Later, for 33 years, my home became wherever my husband was. Until he chose not be my husband anymore. Being in the mountains feels like home, and I do not own any property there. Being with my children feels like home, even though I no longer live under the same roof or even in the same state (for 2 of them) as they do.

As my pastor once said, we should always be amazed but never surprised at God’s answered prayers and at His divine actions in our lives. I wish I could say I had reached that place, but I’m still not only surprised but pretty shocked when He does what He does best—-shows us what home really is. It’s wherever He is. “Abide in me…” He says. I’m living proof, moreso now than for the years after my parents died and before my marriage, that He is our home. And He provides the feeling of earthly home when we trust Him.

I never thought in a million years I could find joy in leaving the home I’m currently in. But on July 10, I will joyfully leave it and go with confident assurance into my new one. I know Who goes with me, and that’s all that matters.

Caroline Arey

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