When I moved from
Greenville, North Carolina up to , back in 2003, I moved for my job. At that point, I basically had no friends who were not work colleagues, I was not walking with Jesus, my husband had left. My life consisted of working, working out, and… that was pretty much it. Harrisonburg, Virginia
All in all, that move was pretty painless. In fact, my company had movers come in and pack up all my stuff. They came, I went to Target, two hours later I returned, and all my things were on the moving van. They even individually wrapped each plastic container and lid! I drove away without much emotion. I wasn’t leaving ‘home’, I was leaving a place.
This move is going to be very different. I’m leaving a community of brothers and sisters in Christ. I'm leaving friends and my church family. I’m leaving a place where when I walk into Gold’s Gym, I always know one or two people. In fact, some days, I don’t get much of a work-out in because I’m too busy chatting!
I’m leaving the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley, where I can go on a walk in my neighborhood, up and down hills, past pretty flowers and lawns, with the
Blue Ridge mountains a constant presence, strong and beautiful.
Here are friends with whom I have shared some of my deepest moments of pain, my most jubilant celebrations. Here Jesus drew me back to Him, and everything began to change.
Here I have been gifted with acceptance – on my good days, and even more so, on those not-so-good ones. In other words, here I am home. Home for me is not tied to a house or the spot where I have my stuff. Home is that feeling of belonging, and that’s what I have here.
The funny thing is, if I didn’t have this amazing home, these wonderful friends and family to leave behind, I wouldn’t be able to go. Not only because of their financial support – which has been beyond my wildest expectations! What a blessing to be partnering with so many!! Not only because of their prayer support – which has also been incredible! It is a fact that I could not be heading into missions without these things.
But, more than that, the simple fact that I have people here who love me, and who I love, makes it possible. Through my family in Christ, I have been able to see more of Jesus. I have learned more about who He is as He has shown Himself to me in them. I have been cherished and loved in my joys and happy times, and in my icky stuff, too. Learning to love others in their good and bad has helped expand my ability to love more like Jesus.
Being treated with grace has allowed me to be more gracious with others – and with myself! Knowing others are cheering me on, ready to step in if (when!) I fall spectacularly on my face, has given me the courage to take these first faltering steps into the unknown.
I’m sure going to miss so many things about my life here! I’m going to miss the chats and silly times and laughter and sharing my heart. I'm going to miss times of tears and difficult things I’ve been privileged to walk through with my friends here. I’m going to miss looking out at the beauty of this place. The seasons and pace and place I have here.
This time, I am not leaving a place, I am leaving my home. I am leaving home and I am filled with emotion and pain, but you know what? I’m also leaving with peace and even joy. Because as difficult as this move is going to be, I am able to go. I am able to go because I have so much to leave behind. The very things that draw me and hold me here are the ones giving me the strength and faith to move away.
Thank you, Father, for the home you have provided for me in
. Thank you for these years of growing in friendships, and in You. Please continue Your work in the lives of those I love here so very much. Thank you that I can go, and that You go with me. Harrisonburg
May I take the blessings you have given me here, and move out from this place in love to be a blessing to others. May I help show those desperate to belong to more than just a place, the promise of Home we have in You.