I arrived home on Friday; I’ll be here for a week and two days.
It feels different being home, even though most things have remained the same.
There’s one building on the downtown strip that’s been demolished and there’s different pillows on the chairs on my front porch.
There are many more things that have never changed, and probably won’t, in the rest of the time that I spend here.
But I have. I’ve changed. And I know a lot of people say that because the world is constantly in motion. People say that because they encounter experiences in their life that shape their worldview for a little bit but then they fall back into the same habits they had at the beginning when they’re placed back into the same situations and spend time with the same people.
This type of change is different, I think.
I’m running into people I’ve always known and I’m driving down the four main streets in my hometown. Everything is familiar, but everything is different. The view in my rearview mirror is different.
Instead of letting it be what it’s been to me, it became what I’ve always wanted it to be.
When I went to college as a freshman, I was looking for a fresh start. In a way, I “broke up” with my hometown like it was my ex-boyfriend and traveled a little over 405 miles to a new place with new opportunities.
And a new place with new opportunities is exactly I found when I came to Hope. I praise God for that every day, because when I walked in as a freshman, I would have never believed I would be in the place I am today – full of joy, patience, and new knowledge.
But my hometown and I had an awkward “breakup,” because there wasn’t really any resolution. Neither one of us really had an answer to some hard questions, and we left each other without really talking – falsely hoping the relationship would improve with us being further apart.
My assumption was that, by building a life somewhere else, I’d fix all the parts of me that were broken. I was incorrect.
There was a time that it didn’t get better; in fact, it probably got worse. But then, it did get better; and now, it’s the best it has ever been.
I’m writing from a couch in my living room, and I’m more than happy to say I have two homes.
One is Hope, and one is here. And as awesome as it would be to say that “making up” with my hometown was on me, with joy, I say it’s Jesus. He made the view in my rearview mirror clearer than it’s ever been before.
I never would have found Him without Hope.
The choices we make sometimes lead us to places where we can’t find peace. We know we messed up, but we can’t find the way out on our own. We can’t find a way to break our habits, adapt our character, and change our perspective permanently. As often as we try, we fail twice as much.
We often run away in attempt to find what we’re missing, and in effect, we gain more loss. And I wish I had a list of steps to take, a magic recipe to find that peace to keep us from running away, but I don’t. I only have one word.
I learned that instead of running from something, we have to run to something. And the only One who will stay constant enough for us to run to, the only thing that will still remain, is God. He’s permanent, He is never changing. He’s the only thing that was there before I was here and will be here long after I am gone.
For the first time in a long time, perhaps the first time in the history of ever, my house is home. And my hometown is home. And I’m at peace. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in a place that hasn’t changed, but feels brand new.
We love a God whose desire is peace, and He gives us peace because He loves us in return.
Glad I got over that breakup… thanks, Jesus.
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