Going Home

The scenery changes outside my window. From tree covered mountains to patchwork plains. I’m going home, although I’m not even sure where that is anymore. I’ve called so many places home. But, these ironed flat fields of Kansas hold my growing up memories. They root me to this soil like the tall cottonwoods that line the creek on the farm where I grew up. 

My brothers – Dwight, James, Charles

As surely as I know no earthly location is completely home, I also know God put in our hearts a desire for home. That yearning points to a place where we nestle in the heart of Jesus, and He inhabits ours. It promises a place of mansions prepared for us, streets of gold and eternity secured. 

My brother went to be with Jesus last week. He made it home before me. Sibling rivalry to the max. And as I make my way closer to the place of his final resting place, my mind swirls around thoughts of growing up, of going home, of narrowing the distance. 

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Cor. 5:1 NKJV

Since the beginning of time when God placed Adam and Eve in a garden, we make our boundaries and call it home. We build it and dress it. We change it and fit it. Always trying to make it a better place, comfortable and safe. 

Joseph was uprooted far from home to the pagan land of Egypt, and when he died, he made the children of Israel promise to bury his bones with his people. 

The Israelites wandered in the wilderness making temporary homes in tents, always looking for a better place. A resting spot.

Naomi left her home in Bethlehem and when everything was stripped from her in Moab, she returned there again to finish her days with her people. 

Going home is part of every person’s journey.  

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven…” 2 Cor. 5:2 NKJV

My brother was groaning in his earthly flesh for a while. Long enough to know, without knowing how long, that it would not be much longer. It was painfully difficult for those who loved him to recognize he was being called to a far better place. 

With my brother Dwight in 2017

Jesus comforted his disciples before He left them with these words,

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:1-2 NKJV 

As I near home, I am comforted by these thoughts, but I am blown away by the ever growing realization that the God of the Universe desires to dwell with me. 

Throughout the Old Testament God made provisions through the ark, the tabernacle, and the Temple to dwell among His people. In His unapproachable holiness, He made laws, sacrifices and gave promise of His presence and plan to be with them. 

In the New Testament He gave us Jesus to live and walk with us, to die so the bridge to the Father would give us bold and sure access to Him. 

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jn. 1:14 NKJV

Dwelt means He pitched his tent with us. 

Paul speaks of the church as His dwelling place…”in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22 NKJV

God’s desire to be with us shows His deep love.  

This desire to be near, to live in and with, to pitch His tent among us is perhaps one of the dearest comforts to my heart these days as I say good-bye to one who held my hand as a toddler, wiped my tears as a junior higher and sang at my wedding.

This is part of what I feel in this home going
, as I take a final look at the flesh that once housed his spirit. I hear my brother’s daughter whisper to his little grandchild at the casket, “that’s not really him. He’s with Jesus.” And I know that he’s finally arrived. He is home. 

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3 NKJV


You Might Also Be Interested in my recent article at Bible Study Tools:

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37 Replies

  1. Justin Schroeder Reply

    Thankful for your perspective through a hard time. “That’s not really him. He’s with Jesus.” I love you mom ❤️

  2. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Blessings to you, Sylvia. Your sweet post is a blessing to readers. How beautifully you included that God wants to be with us.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Jeannie. I just love that thought that God wants to be with us.

  3. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Even though we try to prepare our loved ones for their “final first step”; and we even pray God’s mercy to call them home and end their suffering, the loss is still terrible to bear. The joy we have in knowing that are safely with God for eternity is the only thing that can balance our grief at their loss. I pray you remember this is just a short separation my friend, until we are reunited with our loved ones for eternity. God’s blessings; and prayers for peace and comfort ma’am.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much J.D. I love the reminder it’s a short separation. Isn’t that just such a marvelous hope!!

  4. Susan Kroeker Reply

    I loved this so much, Sylvia. We are praying for you!

  5. Demi Runkle Reply

    What a poignant tribute, Sylvia. I am blessed to have you and Phillip as my neighbors.

  6. Linda Lou Brucato Reply

    So sorry to hear about your brother’s passing!

  7. Katherine Pasour Reply

    Such a beautiful tribute to your brother and family. I know he would be grateful to see the lessons you have shared with us about going home. We all long for our heavenly home, but grieve for our loved ones that go first. Praying for peace and comfort.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Katherine. Always grateful for Jesus’ hand through the journey!

  8. Lois Reply

    Thanks for sharing your poignant thoughts.
    We are but strangers and aliens here–
    This land is not our permanent home….
    We seek a country that’s far away;
    We seek a homeland where we can stay….
    Praying for you as you miss your brother, and as you continue your journey home.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Lois. “a homeland where we can stay…” Lovely words.

  9. RJ Thesman Reply

    My sympathies for your loss, Sylvia. But grateful for the beautiful words you use to describe the journey home.

  10. Deborah Mbonimpa Reply

    My sincere condolences Sylvia. Thank you for expressing your thoughts even during this difficult time. I am so grateful for the hope we have beyond this life.
    Loved JDs comment about ‘only a short separation’.
    Praying with you and your family and his family now.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Deborah. I am so blessed with the thought of a short separation. It will not be forever.

  11. Loretta Reply

    Thank you Sylvia. We lost my 19 year old grandson this week. I need this. And God, through you, provided.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Oh my. I’m so very sorry for your loss. May the God of comfort provide for you and yours of His bountiful comfort. Thank you Loretta.

  12. Sue Vogt Reply

    Thank you for sharing. It is so comforting to have our hope in Jesus. God Bless You & your family.

  13. Jan Clements Reply

    May the God of all comfort hold you close. I appreciated your insights from scripture to my heart!. Your (our} loss is temporary only until He comes to take us Home, our forever Home. Oh what a glorious day that will be!

  14. Jeanne Doyon Reply

    Love this post. It is raw and real yet full of hope and truth. My sister-in-law is nearing the end of her 5-year battle with Stage IV cancer. So this is especially meaningful.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you so much Jeanne. I am so very sorry about your sister-in-law. The death of someone we love is never easy. May the God of comfort fill you with His comfort at this time.





  17. Jennifer Barnes Reply

    Such lovely words that comfort us all! Thank you for sharing such beauty from your heart in the midst of your sadness. Sending prayers for you and your family as you move into the days ahead.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Jennifer. I do appreciate the prayers. God has been and will continue to be faithful.

  18. Lois S. Reply

    Reading this again, and remembering.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Lois! One of the comments referred to Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Another great one to remember.