On Friday, the suitcases left the guest room. And so did the guest. 
While we loved the company, we were thrilled to see Emma go home to her returning Jeff. He was standing in the doorway of the guest room Friday evening. Everyone was smiling. While I got a hug, Emma beamed in the background, folding sheets, tidying up.

Earlier that week she was nearly verklempt with anticipation. Counting days and maybe minutes. It didn’t help that her enormous, life-consuming homework project was turned in Wednesday morning and all she had left to do was wait. Oh, the ache. And when Jeff finally returned, oh the joy! The tree of life in a longing fulfilled.

Jeff and Emma on their wedding day last year, when all this happiness got started.

A few days before he came home, Emma shared with me that this longing helped her understand the longing we must all have for Jesus’ soon return.The temporary separation from a spouse is an experience few of us care to endure. Only my brave friends who married into the military can really understand this. But then, we are all separated from Jesus in a similar way. And this separation is intended to nurture a longing in our souls. Instead of the complacent comfort we so often abide in, the Christian life is intended to be full of ache, full of a hope for something better, for Jesus Himself. As we get to know Jesus more, we can no longer be satisfied with a steady paycheck, and the next rite of passage in the American dream.  In His goodness, Jesus ruins everything. And little by little our hearts align with the cries of heaven in Revelation 22: “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘[Jesus], come’.”

Let our hearts say it more and more. “We miss you, Jesus. And we want you to return. We are lovesick, Jesus, and we want you to come back. For the Spirit and the Bride say ‘Come’.” -Misty Edwards
[This post is dedicated to Ingrid Cribbs and of course, Emma Wheatley, strong women of courage who understand the meaning of longing better than any of us.]