“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. ” ~ Luke 1:39-41
Yesterday was my son’s fifth birthday. Only we didn’t tell him that. The grandparents aren’t coming until later next week so the party is next week, too. No need for him to know it’s his birthday on a day where there is no party, no grandparents, and no presents.
For a five-year-old, that would basically be torture.
We struggled for so long to grow our family. After 2.5 IVF attempts to have Pumpkin, we knew it could be equally as long and as expensive to have another baby. Only, Skillet was free. The Lord called me home from my job, told me to “move,” and 40 weeks after I obediently followed His direction, we found out we were pregnant.
It was very literally the most shocking moment of my life when those two lines popped up.
Dr. didn’t believe it. He made me test again in the morning and call our infertility doctor for an appointment. I did both and both were very positive. Our doctor, Dr. K, said, “You are VERY pregnant.”
Skillet was powerful even in his microscopic days.
During those years of waiting, blogging connected me to so many amazing women also struggling to grow their families. Sharing the same trench, the same hallway, the same mountain hike creates friendships and bonds like few victories can. Goodness, the hours we spent praying for each other? They were some of my favorite, most precious times with our Father.
I only had one friend in my physical world to walk with through infertility. And she was (still is) absolutely amazing. But I had several spiritual friends in cities all over the country to walk beside.
Our physical distance was overcome by our spiritual closeness.
I love the passage from Luke on Elizabeth meeting Mary.
Several years ago, as I was supposed to be listening to a sermon one Sunday morning, I was reading this passage instead. No idea why. Likely it was near the passage the sermon was on. But as I was reading the Holy Spirit so clearly revealed this truth to me…
We carry the Kingdom with us.
I read about John doing his leap for joy at being near a first-term Savior and most of my life I thought, Well, that’s cool.
But not much else.
(How jealous are you of my holiness right now?)
The older I get, though, and the more experiences I have both with Jesus and with other Jesus followers, I now realize how very much the Jesus in me recognizes the Jesus in someone else.
Let me say that again.
The Jesus in me recognizes the Jesus in someone else.
This concept, this idea, this understanding that the Holy Spirit living in me calls out to the Holy Spirit living in another person and we can FEEL that? It changes everything.
This past Christmas, I read Sophie Hudson’s Giddy Up, Eunice, and right there, on page 40 she explained the same thing. It was the first time I’d seen or heard or considered this idea outside of my own revelation that Sunday morning. She wrote this, “When the Holy Spirit in one woman recognizes and responds to the Holy Spirit in another woman, safe places become sacred spaces.”
This is it, y’all.
Those precious, infertile, sacred, Jesus sisters became Home to me BECAUSE the Holy Spirit in me recognized the Holy Spirit in them. It wasn’t some big mystery or a fluke. It was a friendship, a bond, created with a Kingdom connection.
Home is not simply a location or our people.
Home is Jesus.
And we bring Home, those “sacred spaces” as Sophie said, with us wherever we go.
This is why my heart so longs to jump on a plane for California and why on those days, I pray a bit extra for my Jesus sister there. This is why I feel a nudge to reach out to a friend I haven’t seen in a while. This is why when a person I may have only known for a hot minute in one specific season of life asks for prayer on social media, I pray fervently for them. And y’all, I know people do the same for you and for me.
Because the Holy Spirit causes our hearts to LEAP when we meet a sister in need.
Even when that sister is not physically with us and even when we may not know every detail of their lives.
Home is the Kingdom and we long for it and oh, y’all, there are days when my soul aches to be there. When I can close my eyes and picture my children, my Grandmother, our Gigi, all together, worshiping, singing, hands lifted high, feet dancing, free in the presence and perfection of the Holy Kingdom. And I cry with longing.
But there are also days, friend, when I sit with my Jesus sisters in small group, at the McDonald’s play place, beside a pool, and we talk about our Father, our Savior, and the desires He has placed in our hearts. We share our fears, our revelations, our dreams, and that is when I feel most at Home.
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” ~Matthew 18:20
Home is the Kingdom.
The best news about all this? The Kingdom is here. Now. Right where you are with your Jesus people. This is why we crave time with other followers. Why corporate worship, being a part of a local church, joining a small group, pursuing relationships with other believers are so vital to our lives.
We need Home. We need Kingdom relationships in our life. Because the Jesus in me calls out for the Jesus in others. We need to find those “sacred spaces” so we can encourage and build each other up. Pray for one another, cry together, laugh, worship, share together.
Those friendships, our Jesus relationships, are Home for us.
And when we don’t have those, we feel the tension of being lost, of feeling homeless, like we don’t really belong anywhere.
Don’t waste a minute.
The Message translation says this, “Mary didn’t waste a minute. She got up and traveled…”
Those years of praying with and for my infertile friends, they included so many moments like this. When one of us had news to share, we didn’t waste a minute. We got up and shared. And thanks to the wonder of the internet, we didn’t have to travel up to the hill country (although, yes, please) but instead, we sent an email, a text, hit publish on a post. All the modern day (but before Facebook) ways in which we would announce to one another our news.
If you’ve got Jesus friends in your life, don’t waste a single minute. Invite them for dinner, bake some cookies and knock on their door, send them a text message to say you’re praying for them. Something. My Jesus infertile sister and I used to call our lengthy correspondence, “Life Update Emails.” My best friend and I schedule long dinners over melted chocolate when we are in town together. However it is that you stay in touch with your Home, your “sacred spaces,” don’t waste any time in getting to them.
Being in the presence of Jesus, in your prayer time, your quiet time, your morning run, that time is healing and loving and life-giving. Jesus is Home. And when two or three of His people get together? And when those people ask Him to join them? He shows up. We are home. He is home. Jesus people are Home.
Who is your Home, your “sacred space” in your life?