We’ve all been in situations where we’ve longed to go home. As a prisoner, I know this desire all too well. I’ve spent the last 30 years inside the Florida prison system, longing to go home. But nothing in my power can get me there.

As much as I’d like to walk through these doors, I can’t. The door to my cell is electronically controlled. An officer in the security booth opens it and turns on the light every morning at 4:30 a.m. Another officer locks the door and turns off the light each night. I can’t change that, so I dream about home. In fact, I’ve yet to meet another person in prison who doesn’t want to go home.

But prisoners aren’t alone in this longing. Every day, people who are isolated from their loved ones long to return to their homes. A distant job, military service, school, sickness, or perhaps a broken relationship—it doesn’t matter why, the longing is the same.

Being away from home changes your perspective on life. The mundane acts I once took for granted—they’re what I now cherish. Simply turning on a light or closing a door has so much more meaning now! The reality and restrictions of prison life have taught me to appreciate things I never noticed before.

But for many, in prison or not, “home” is an illusion. In a world full of selfishness and turmoil, home never existed. It’s a figment of imagination. We’ve sought after it, but we’ve never found it.

I, however, have found a home—and it can never be taken away from me. It is real, and it is wonderful.

When I came to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, home became a reality that transcends this galaxy. The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, a Roman colony: “We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior” (Philippians 3:20).

In John 14:2–3, Jesus promised: “I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”

For believers, home is with Jesus in heaven. Once we understand that—and that this life will pass away—we can concentrate on the eternal rather than the temporal. Then, even if we’re in isolation, we can claim God’s peace to endure the trials and abuse we face. He sees it all, and we can trust Him with every moment, every situation, till the day He calls us home.

Tonight, when my cell door is locked and the lights are turned off, I will sleep with joy in my heart. I know Jesus is coming soon to take me home to be with Him, forever. Prison is not my home, and neither is this world. My home is in heaven where Jesus lives—and it can be your home, too. God offers heaven to anyone who believes in His Son. What you’ve done doesn’t matter. Forgiveness is available through Jesus Christ.

I don’t know as much as I’d like to about heaven, but I do know whatever I go through, this life does not have the last word. God has written the final chapter, and it says: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

That promise makes going home very special and more wonderful than I can even imagine.  †