After just over a year, we call London home. We’re not sure when the switch of calling Indiana home, and now referring to London as home happened, but it did. It’s not an easy switch of reference to the place you call home when you move across an ocean to a new city. How does it become home?
It became home with opening our doors. When it seemed so easy to say no to an opportunity to hang out, when you’d rather not have the effort of trying, when you just miss the comfortable relationships you had…we forced ourselves to say yes. Yes, we’ll meet up with you for a picnic. Yes, we will attempt to meet in that part of the city (even if we get lost on the way). Yes, you can come over, we’re in pajamas still, but come over. Yes, our home is open to dinners, lunches, breakfast, and tea. It is a yes to kids running in and out and neighbors stopping by to ask a question.
Through saying yes, it has become home. We still say no occasionally as we need devoted family time or just need to rest, but our yeses have been more than the nos. Looking back, we see how saying those yeses has not only caused this new city to become home, but has created a safe place for people to enter.
We saw a doormat the other day that said “Come as You Are” and I’m now saving up to get it. This is what this year has taught us. Whether it’s someone from church, a neighbor or a new friend we’ve made from the school, we want everyone to know they can just come as they are and our home will be welcoming. It has opened up beautiful conversations, times of laughter that hurts your stomach and comforting hugs as tears flowed.
This is how we have approached the church partnership as well. We’ve entered in, helped serve with open hands and welcomed others. Young leaders from church have met in our home as we’ve studied together, couples soon-to-be married have gathered to talk about preparing for marriage, individuals come for a time of discipleship and we’ve been the rain location for picnics.
We knew we were coming here to serve a new church partnership but we somehow missed how that would impact our physical home, the space we live in and how we can create a safe place to love others just as Jesus asks us to. We continue to say yes and welcome new people, and now good friends, into our home.