Boone, North Carolina is my home. That’s a deceptively complicated statement. You see, Boone is my home…but not really. It’s where my family is. It’s where my heart is. It’s where I’ve found peace and comfort and encouragement over the past two years. It’s a place I would be content to never leave. But that’s not all there is to the definition of home.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that home is not a place. It’s not even a person. Home is a feeling. It’s security and peace and comfort and the overwhelming sense that if you just kicked off your shoes and laid on the floor and laughed or cried or maybe both, no one would judge you. In fact, home is knowing everyone there would join you on that floor, laughing or crying (or both) because that’s what family does. And family? They’re not your blood. They can be, sure, but family is also those people who will lie on the floor beside you in tears of laughter or sadness because they care. Because they know. Because they love.

Family accepts your quirks, but not your faults. Family says “You’re silly and stupid and I love you because of that…but let’s work on that whole ax murderer temper thing you got going, okay?” Family loves through the flaws, but doesn’t accept them. Instead, family sees your potential and pushes you to be the best you can be.

So, yes, Boone is home. But it hasn’t always been and likely won’t always be. And that’s okay because here’s the thing: where I find my peace and comfort and encouragement could be anywhere. Trust me when I say I love Boone and never want to leave. But I fully believe that I could find home anywhere because my home isn’t a dwelling place or even people. My home is my relationship with my Savior. My home is residing in His grace, His truth. That’s where I find peace and joy and the greatest of loves. That’s where I find myself.

Unfortunately, home—our earthly home—will fail us. Buildings mold, burn, crumble. People betray, change, leave. Nothing this world has to offer will ever last. C.S. Lewis puts it perfectly in his book "Mere Christianity" (which I highly recommend to everyone, whether you’re a Christian or not):If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” I was made for another world. This is not and never will be home in the truest sense of the word. Temporarily, sure, it’s a wonderful home. But I don’t belong here. I was meant for something more than this. And there’s so much freedom in that. There is so much hope in that. I’m not meant for this world, so when places and people and even emotions in it fail me—I expect it. There are no surprises. I know this world is failing and fleeting and that’s okay because my God created me for something greater.

So home on this earth is a feeling. But our true home? It’s something far better than that, something we can’t experience or even comprehend just yet. And that’s okay, too. Boone is a not-so-bad substitute for now.