Our Last Night in Our First Home

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“I already know I’ll cry buckets when we spend our last night in our current house – because it was our first real home. We lived in an apartment for the first six months of our marriage, but we’ve been here ever since. That’s three years of memories – dinners with friends, bible studies, movie nights, birthday parties, and hundreds of conversations. Three years of laughing, crying, fighting, forgiving, building, learning, growing, hosting, and just being. It won’t be easy to leave a place that’s been such a blessing to us.” — from The Next Hendrickson Home

How dreadfully hard it is to say goodbye to such a lovely home. Our house has held more love and learning than I ever could have guessed it would when we moved in. The last three years have been such a joy!

Last night was our last night. I wasn’t 100% sure it would be, but it was. I couldn’t sleep, so, being the overly sentimental sap that I am, I stared up at the ceiling and mentally walked through every room in the house, trying to retain as many memories as possible. This house was quite a project in the beginning. It had been a bank foreclosure for awhile and was in desperate need of some TLC. But regardless of the terribly painted walls and the weak, sagging wood floors, I’m pretty sure I had a vision the first time I walked in the front door. Like…maybe an actual vision. From God. It was as if I had a video playing in my head, a beautiful picture of people being in our house, and of this home being a place of warmth, safety, and hospitality. I saw people enjoying themselves here, feeling protected, cared for, comfortable. Somehow, from the moment I set foot in it, I knew our home would be a place where people’s chains were broken and walls were torn down. And good grief, if it hasn’t been just that. I can’t count the number of Gospel moments this house has held: some painful, some joyful, but all beautiful.

It’s a bittersweet thing, saying goodbye to a house. Sometimes, I feel silly being sad, because it’s not like we’re moving to another country – we’ll still be in the same town, just on a different street. But to be honest with you, I think the reason it’s bittersweet is because I feel like I’m leaving more behind than memories. This move seems to be signaling a change in season for us. And that’s hard to come to terms with, because I have really, really loved this last season. I have loved the freedom, the spontaneity, and the newness. I will miss it, in the same way you miss your favorite sweater that finally becomes too worn out to wear. I’ve loved this season, but it’s time for an even better one. It’s time to move forward. Toward what, you ask? Ha…your guess is as good as mine!

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place… like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”
— Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

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