Jesus Lives Here

“I’ve only seen you this excited one other time,” he said, eyes softening with second-hand joy.

My already oversized smile widened still more.

“That was a good day,” I replied as I leaned into his shoulder.

It was then that we spotted her. I told myself walk, don’t run as we drew closer and suddenly we were laughing and holding each other like reunited family.

There is something about a hug that is so tight it almost hurts. Something about a person willing to pull you right up close and hold you there – something that feels like being loved. Belonging. Home.

Over a weekend of time, she pulled me in tight using every love language:
Time – hours of conversation
Physical touch – hugs every day
Gifts – a nightstand overflowing with chocolate and a dinner date as couples
Acts of service – she insisted I could not help her with anything and kept me out of the kitchen
Words of affirmation – encouragement without limits and also faithful conviction/spurring me on to good works

I came feeling tired and I left feeling full.
This is what it means to have a living testimony.
I watched my husband find meaningful conversation with her husband, men with humble hearts, strong convictions, and deep joy.
I felt my heart skip a beat as I watched him win over their youngest daughter – both of them sitting on the floor playing, eyes dancing.

Technically, our time with them was nothing out of the ordinary. We didn’t do anything bucket-list worthy.
But it was an extraordinary time because we found soul-connection with people in love in love with Jesus.
Their joy was infectious. Their words built up. Their hospitality said: you belong here.

I am home now, working on finding ways to take this renewed joy and make it into my own living testimony.
I want those who stumble into my life tired to come away knowing there is joy for you wherever life takes you. 
I want those who enter my home to know you belong here.
And most of all, I want those I come into contact with to know Jesus lives here 

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