THE GATE, THE HOUSE & THE ROOMS. By Ashley White
The other day I was talking to an old, dear friend of mine. We were sitting in a restaurant processing through all of our issues together, as we do, coming to epiphanies completely on our own. It’s in conversations like this that I find my fight again. A crowded restaurant suddenly felt like a living room. Everywhere I went that day did, actually.
With my fight, came my home.
Since moving, I’ve felt a bit like a ghost. Where I was, I was known everywhere I went, simply due to the size of the town and my time spent there. I’m not yet used to walking into coffee shops full of strangers. A lot of healing to be done in me has been pointed out by this change. There are walls I put up out of familiarity that I didn’t know I was leaning on. I started to feel these walls crumble with every stranger that passed me. My initial reaction was to run and hide - to apologize for the reality people were bound to see and run from.
Lately, I’ve found, though, that on the other side of those walls, lies a gate. I am seen and exposed, yes, but I am still guarded. And wow, is this gate beautiful. Now I understand why people were at the other side of my walls, trying to see what was so beautifully protected, but had been isolated by fear. Behind the walls, it seems as if darkness was darker and light was tainted, only casting shadows. This gate, though, leaves no room for darkness and it’s shadows do not block my view of beauty. In fact, these shadows seem to paint the ground underneath me.
While running around on the shadows like a child, I suddenly look up to find my house in shackles. While I was soaking in the beauty of my protection, it seems my comfort was being overhauled. I knew the place needed some renovations, but I did not anticipate rebuilding. My cozy, simple home seems to be doubling- no, tripling- in size. C.S. Lewis says it well,
“What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of- throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.”
Imagine Cinderella’s first morning as the prince’s wife, waking up and thinking of all the different adventures to be had simply in one of her new kitchens. This is the feeling I get. My home is now this spacious place- full of adventure and big enough to bring everyone along, but I also have secret places just for me and my Love. I do not have to search or strive. I must allow myself to be found. I have been set in a spacious place- a safe place.
Through my life in this palace, I will continue to discover rooms. To my surprise, rooms I’ve loved will connect to each other and lead to another side of the house I never knew. There are rooms my friends have found they love as well and there I will enjoy precious time with them. (I would also like to add that every room is stalked with coffee and donuts) In these rooms I will rest and cry and heal and sing. In these rooms, I will begin to understand my longing for heaven- for I know my true home is the heart of God. This house is guarded by a gate, keeping my heart set and open to adventure freely through my rooms, preparing my heart to be overwhelmed by an eternal, Heavenly home. Hallelujah that my heart is no longer mine, but my Father’s and I dwell in Heaven daily with Him. Hallelujah for a holy, everlasting truth.