I knew we were staying in the countryside but that was all. This trip to France came as a gift from my family, with a few surprises included. Driving north from Paris through gently rounded green hills and red-roofed villages, we finally turned onto a narrow road paralleling a weathered stone wall. I caught a glimpse of a stately manor house set on a hill, the sun glinting off its numerous arched windows. I wondered aloud what it would be like to stay in such a grand place. “We are,” replied my daughter.
Chateau de la Trousse, 17th century home of Count de Mony, put bricks and plaster to my life long dreams of fairytale castles and long ago lifestyles. Flanked by rows of soldierly trees, the long drive led us to an ornate wrought iron gate framing the picturesque façade of the chateau. Beautiful in its proportions from a distance, it was even more elegant up close. And it would be our home for the next several days. I didn’t know it was possible to feel such excitement at my stage of life.
My daughters, son-in-law and I, all hopeless romantics, explored room after room, exclaiming over the lofty ceilings wreathed in cornices of cherubs and floral garlands, the ancient tapestries, sparkling chandeliers and marble fireplaces. Occupying only a wing of the extensive chateau still gave plenty to charm us. We climbed a winding staircase to our bedrooms, flinging open curtains on tall windows framing an idyllic view. Over 40 acres of well-kept estate grounds beckoned my city-raised granddaughter to run free on the lawns, throw pebbles in the pond and pet the stone lions at the gate. Bird song and the sough of the breeze in the treetops were the only accompaniment to the peacefulness of la Trousse.
Rarely in this life does the reality of a thing exceed our dream of it. My imagination had long wandered down corridors of castles, through gardens of days gone by, but a sojourn at la Trousse surpassed even my vivid fantasies.
A promise is given by God about a future reality which will far outshine anything our imagination can produce. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9 NIV)
Countless words have been spoken and written in an effort to describe what awaits us in our future with God but they are weak predictions of a reality beyond what we can ask or imagine. Even the apostle John struggled to describe the visions of the future given him in the book of Revelation because he was limited to mere human senses and comprehension. But by the Spirit of God we have been given a glimpse, a foretaste, a flesh and bone manifestation of what He has destined for our glory before time began. It is in the God-man, Jesus Christ. God has chosen to make known to us “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
I experienced the magic of la Trousse with my senses, a gift I will always treasure. God’s gift prepared for me in eternity will be experienced with my spirit, when all earthly limitations to my relationship with Him will be removed and I will see Him face to face.
That will surely be heaven to me.
Valerie Ronald and scriptordeus 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie Ronald and scriptordeus with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.