ALMOST HEAVEN

Sweet friendship lasts.

Sweet friendship lasts.

By Lisa Huddleston

Last night, Chuck and I returned from a four-day trip to The Homestead Resort in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia. It’s pretty unusual for us to travel this time of year, and I think this was the first time we’d ever visited a bonafide resort; but this was a special occasion. We took this trip to spend some time with dear friends from New Jersey, Bob and Suzanne, whom we had not seen for the past 12 years. None of us could really believe it had been that long, but as they say, time flies, life gets busy, and it’s hard to find margin. But the kids are grown, and my friend, Sue, is a persistent gal (thank goodness). The time to reunite was here at last.

I was a tiny bit nervous about going. First, it had been so long. I hoped we’d have as much fun as we used to have. (We did!) Second, the resort had restrictions regarding clothing styles in certain areas of the building, and I am a blue jeans kinda girl. (It was no big deal.) Third, I always worry about going anywhere and have to be cajoled to leave the farm–I hate to separate from my pets, my house, my bed, and so on. (Basically, I’m a stick in the mud.)

The guys--aren't they cute?

The guys–aren’t they cute?

But all that worry was a ridiculous waste of time. It was a wonderful visit, and the four of us connected instantly as though no time at all had passed. Of course, none of us “had changed a bit,” and we all “looked great!” And in our eyes, every bit of that was true. In fact, it was just like coming home.

And that last thought caused me to ponder the true meaning of home. I’ve determined that as much as I love this beautiful house my husband has built for our family, home is not a building. True home is a relationship–a comfortable and easy place that allows us to be who we really are (blue jeans or not). Whether in the mountains of Virginia, the crowded neighborhoods of New Jersey, Nashville or Knoxville, the city or the farm–wherever the pieces of my heart reside with friends and family, that is true home to me. And ultimately that truth points me to my best and final home where I will be completely accepted and loved for myself (in Christ)–Heaven.

The Omni Homestead--almost heaven (but not West Virginia.)

The Omni Homestead–almost heaven (but not West Virginia.)

What a sweet time we enjoyed with our friends this week, and what a sweet reminder of the joy that is to come one day when we are reunited for good with all the saints who have gone before us taking pieces of our hearts with them to our final home to come. (I just hope there’s not a dress code!)