Sometimes living in a small town makes me crazy. Usually it's matters of convenience that bother me most, not having a decent place to obtain clothes or shoes for my children, no daytime movies nine months of the year. There are certain aspects of life in a more urban area that I do miss.
Currently Hunky and I are in Orlando for Exponential. I'm so excited to hear people speak of the Church and its potential. I crave new ideas and deeper understanding of how to serve the least and lost. I look forward to having a mind worn out from new information at the end of the day. But I have to say that the traffic is mind boggling. The crowds leaving me feeling cramped and unsettled. We are sitting in Panera bread where every table save one is plugged in, including me. There are times when I love the slower paced, quiet beauty of my small town home more than any other place.
Whenever we return home from Arizona there always seems to be a rash of speculation that we are suddenly going to pick up and move across the country to live in the high mountain air and minister to the Native American people. There are times when leaving Arizona is more like leaving home than coming home, but then I realize that the focus I miss when I am not there would also be less sharp if all of my "real life" were to take place in Arizona. Mission trips by their nature are hyper-focused. It isn't that life in Arizona is actually that much less complicated.
My Hunky grew up in Daytona, and we lived sixteen years of our married life there. There are parts of that town that are so much a part of us, our patterns of thought, our way of relating to the world, that it's like our very lives are sea glass rubbed soft and smooth by the pounding surf. Sometimes I miss the ocean's smell and constancy so deeply it's genuinely a mourning for what is no longer mine or perhaps never actually was.
I've left various homes and relocated many times in my life. My mother and brothers far enough away that it isn't convenient to see them nearly as often as I miss them. There is no other crowd of people, outside my own husband and children, with the depth of experiential sharing that we have. Even our various tensions and differences are so comfortable that wearing them is better than my favorite soft, battered jammie pants.
I look to all these places over which my heart stretches and realize that there isn't one single place anymore that I call home. God has removed that anchor and set me loose to sail where ever He directs and despite my reluctance or fear, He will send me, us, where He will. The only time we have ever planned a course of leaving and putting down roots was when we married and moved to Florida. Since then God has directed our path in ways we would never have imagined, and He calls us to continue to be open to whatever He would have for us in the future. It's a challenge to love and engage fully when we never know what the next day will hold, but it's also a great adventure.
Given my choice, I might happily live out the rest of my days in a house on the lake in the deep south. But I have not one clue what the future holds, and I am not brave enough to try and guess it. So I live and love each moment like it's the last and hope for a million more to share with our friends and community whom we have grown to hold dear. I also miss those with whom we no longer share daily community but who once shared days and years of life with us, and who continue to work for the Kingdom in so many places through out the world.
What it boils down to is this: This world is not my home. Until I do get home, I will go where God sends me and root where He plants me and love passionately because no matter where we are, the days are short.