The question inevitably comes up around Thanksgiving and Christmas: “Are you heading home this week?” It is a simple enough question asked with great intentions. The caring person wants to know whether we are going to the place where we grew up.
This past Christmas, Jenn and I went back to San Antonio. San Antonio is the city I grew up in and where my parents have lived their whole lives. It was my home for 18 years of my life. This trip was a special trip. With my parents moving to Vidalia in October, our Christmas trip was possibly the last trip I would make to my boyhood home for years to come. I had big plans: I was going to go to my favorite Mexican restaurant, going to take a trip one last time to see my high school, and going to take some time to bring closure to a city that still is dear to my heart.
Just before Christmas, a dear senior friend passed away. Jenn and I realized that our tour of Texas would be cut short to make it back for the funeral. We came home. Home is the house on Willow Street where our family lives. Home is the church family we belong to. Home is the city God has sent us to. The choice to come home was easy because we wanted to be with our church family.
As a pastor I have always connected with Abraham’s call.
The Lord said to Abram: “Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you,I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.,
I am not Abraham, and God is not making a covenant of salvation with me. What I identify with in Abraham’s call is the step of faith he took. God called Abraham to leave his home and to go to the new home God was preparing for him. The moment Abraham left Ur, that city ceased to be his home. Abraham’s home was where God sent him.
I don’t think I would have ever imagined living in Vidalia, Louisiana. As a city boy, the thought of living in the Louisiana Delta would have been crazy to me as I was growing up. Now, though, I am glad it is home.
What makes Vidalia home are the relationships God has given us in our church. Home is living next to chicken man and my physical therapist. Home is serving in a church whom we love and want to stay at. Home is the walks around the block and runs down the river. Vidalia is home, and we are thankful.
Every day as I read the word of God, study, and pray, I am more and more convinced that God has called the Faulks long term home to Vidalia. Our heart is to see our girls graduate from Vidalia High School and to send them to their new homes from our home here. I am thankful that God has given us a church family and good friends to surround us.
It is good to be home.