Home by Elyse Fiztpatrick

Cover ArtIn this world of fear, trials, and loneliness it’s easy to feel adrift, like you’re homesick for somewhere you’ve never been. This longing is no small thing to be brushed off and forgotten–it’s a guidepost letting you know that you were made for a different place. This earth, as we know it, is not your home. But it’s close. In fact, at times you can almost see your home from here.

What you long for is the New Earth–the place God has been preparing for your eternity with him. With heartfelt stories, personal reflection, and deep scriptural insight, Elyse Fitzpatrick explores heaven and the New Earth–showing that our assumptions about heaven and the realities of the New Earth are not one and the same. Your final destination is not a dull, featureless room in the clouds, but rather a perfected earth. It’s an actual place full of beauty and wonder that we’ll explore with real, perfect bodies. There’s no need to chase a bucket list–on the New Earth there will be no end of glorious sites and amazing activities, and we’ll never run out of time.

Home was a beautiful book by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I was excited when it became available to review, because I thoroughly enjoyed her book Idols of the Heart. It was convicting, encouraging, and easy to read.

Home was no exception. It was well written, and a great encouragement. It spoke to areas I have been struggling in, with such a depth, that I often felt like crying. I found while reading that the struggles  I face are nothing new — they are a result of my own sin nature and the fallen world we live in, yes — but the encouragement came with the realization that others face them as well.

“One of the reasons we read is to recognize our shared human experience.
We are not alone, and what you and I are walking through now we walk through together,
as fellow sojourners in a world where there is nothing unshared,
nothing uncommon, and nothing new.
We have each other, and our communal experience of life where
‘what has been is what will be….and there is nothing new under the sun.’ (Ecc. 1:9)….
We read to hear our own voice of faith whispered in the storm of doubt,
to hear another’s voice calling back to us
from somewhere on the road up ahead.
We read to find our way to rest, to family, to home.”

There were several times I would read a well written passage out loud to my sister that was particularly encouraging to me, speaking about issues that have seemed really *big* in my life recently. The way the words are strung together are beautiful, and her words are so descriptive. This was not an “Heaven Tourism” book…..it was a book about a Biblical look at what our eternal home with our Heavenly Father will be like.

“There won’t be any, ‘Sorry, but you don’t belong here,’
only open access, welcome, and love for everyone.
I’ve known what it is to feel invisible, to be passed over, to be unwelcome.
Maybe that unwelcomness has something more to do with my
faults and failures than anything else, but still…..
To live in a city where the welcome mat is always out,
the gates are always open,
where everyone is excited that you’re there,
where every conversation is open and trusting, and full of love.
Can you imagine?”

I enjoyed the way she began the book, with a passage about writing and words and feeling as if you are utterly alone in this world of ours:

“You rely on me to give you something worth your while. But what exactly are you investing in?
Only this: black words on a white page arranged in a way which enriches you.
Black squiggles….letters and words in sentences that assures you that you are not alone….
But knowing we are not alone is not all we need.
We also need to these black lines, these words, to impart a strength that will enable us to keep on,
to keep walking by faith through the dark.
Have others gone before us? Did they make it home? Was God faithful?
We need assurance that there is a God who is ruling sovereignly over our journeys.

I liked the fact that the author used commentary from some familiar authors — John Calvin and Charles Spurgeon, to name a few.

“The path we are walking on is well trod.
We are walking with men and women of faith who have gone before us,
believers who felt a gnawing sense of isolation and exile
and needed to know that this isolation and exile
weren’t as absolute as they feared they might be.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, being a postmillenialist I did disagree with Mrs. Fitzpatrick’s beliefs in the end times. But it was a “minor” thing — as my pastor said, I am not going to shun someone or break fellowship because we hold different eschatological views. And as this book was about our Heavenly Home — not about how or when that will occur — there were very few passages dealing with eschatology.

I would give this book 4.5 stars, and I would read it again and pass it along to friends — as I tend to do when a book is too good to keep to myself =}

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
I did not have to agree with or enjoy this book. All opinions stated are my own*

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