I've spent my whole life moving. welcome to the world of an army brat! Even when I came back from overseas, I thought I'd stay in one place, and I've lived in 5 different houses in KC in about 3 1/2 years. so I've gotten really used to introductions, and pretty much have a script down for the first couple of weeks of getting to know someone. It's about when we hit year 2 and 3 that it gets a little difficult for me. I've just never had friends for that long, so I don't know what to do when i really become known. Well, actually i just run. Switch it up. Make new friends. rinse and repeat.
I hit that point in November. There really wasn't any one thing that pushed me over the edge, I just did what I always did, what was natural, and pulled myself out of community in search of something new. I figured I'd make new friends, dive into new community and it'd be awesome! I knew it wouldn't come immediately so I gave it some time but something didn't feel right. Friends would ask me how I was doing and I'd respond "fine" but quickly tagged on to that was "it just doesn't feel like home". searching for home.
There's this funny thing about searching for home. You really don't search. You fall into it. Yes, building community takes work, but there is a difference in working at it and trying to force it.
A couple of weeks ago (Easter) I went back (was drawn back, whatever verbage you want to put to it) to my old community. I needed to be around people who knew me, who knew my heart and could speak into it. I was afraid it would be awkward. As I was walking in I literally had the thought "will I know anyone? who will I talk to?" wow. lies from the pit. Here was a community I had poured my heart into for 2 years and I was worried about having people to talk to. It was an incredible night of worship. The worship leader (and my really good friend) opened up the night for continued worship and prayer. He was walking the aisle praying. So I went to walk toward him to have him pray for me. I was still about 15 yards away from him when he saw me. I doubt if I'll ever forget what happened next. A HUGE smile came over his face and he threw his arms open and his head back and laughed, as if to say "of course its you".
In that moment I think I got a glimpse of what the prodigal son felt when he returned. Granted I wasn't out squandering my money and partying it up, but I was away from home. And a spiritual "father" (more like an older brother, but you get the idea) was beside himself to see me. He wasn't angry or hurt or disappointed that I left, there was only love in his eyes and pure joy and excitement that I was back.
I can't even really describe what it feels like to be back in a place where I'm known and where I know people. It's been incredibly reflective and beautiful. I've lived life with these people and have seen them grow into their passions (kb), experience God's faithfulness over and over (jess), be healed emotionally and physically (suze), see dreams come to fruition (waaay to many to list). I know their stories. I knew them when. They know my stories. They knew me when. They know me now.
sigh. dang. Its SO good to be home!