This past weekend I went “home”. After 18 years of living in another state. I anticipated seeing the ocean, driving down familiar streets well traveled in my younger days, sitting in my the church where I was taught so many valuable truths about God and His Word, seeing buildings that would flood me with memories of days gone by…..but most of all to see the faces of those childhood/young adult friends that got laid aside in the transition of moves, ministry, and family.
The ocean – except for erosion here and there was still as amazing as God created it to be; my heart swelled as I ran along the shore flooded with memories and emotion. The Coffee Shop that had been a staple in my high school days Mr. Toots ( don’t laugh) looked exactly the same down to the old pillows and piano in the corner of the room.
The streets that had been surrounded by farms and fields now hosted hotels, shopping centers, and new office buildings. Without a map I might not find my way around as so many landmark buildings are now gone.
I visited my church that had been vital to my growth for so many years. I longed to walk in and feel those “glory days” only to find a church that looked much smaller and a little tired.
But……the people……..the precious people. I had the opportunity to connect with friends who had walked me through my childhood, rough high school years, sent me on my mission to Calcutta, India, stood as witnesses at my wedding, befriended Greg and I in our Young Marrieds Group, and then again when we served as Associate Pastors for a season in my home church…these people, these friends hearts had not changed a bit. Their love and care, their concern for my life, their humorous telling of shared experiences that brought both embarrassment and laughter, and their grace to forgive hurtful behaviors from past interactions reminded me what ‘HOME” truly is.
“HOME” can be found whenever you are blessed enough to be surrounded by those who are precious to you. “HOME” is when you look a friend or family member in the eye and you know, for certain, that you are loved and understood~ no matter how much time has gone by.
Thank you Watsonville for this great reminder…….even if you did build a shopping center in front of my first little home!!! 😦