Just the other day, I got the chance to go home. Back to my hometown. Back to the place that I once belonged. I say "once belonged" with just a hint of sadness. This time, more than any other time that I can remember, I felt different. The town hadn't changed much at all...just me. I've changed. And, you know what? I love that I have!
I grew up in a bubble. It was a good bubble...a nice place with wonderful people...but still, it was a bubble. And growing up, I thought life was all about what happened inside THAT bubble. I thought IT (the place), was IT (the best). For many years, I have romanticized my hometown. I've thought, "Oh, how I wish I could go back there and raise my kids. Our life would be just perfectly wonderful! I would know most of their teachers, their coaches, their doctors...just about everyone. I could take them to all the places I loved. They would get to live near family (especially grandparents, who would perfectly spoil them and give me a break). If I could live there, I would be the happiest person ever, raising the happiest children ever, with the happiest marriage ever...period." (Okay, I'm being a little facetious, but you get me, right?!)
Funny how satan has been able to distract me with such nonsense. Funny how he has made me think that I was missing out. Funny that I bought into that lie all this time.
Actually, it's not funny...AT ALL.
By God's grace and through lots of prayer, I have come to realize that I AM EXACTLY WHERE I NEED TO BE. My family is doing His work. We are on mission for Him. We are here by divine design. I have known that in my head, but not fully in my heart. Because my heart thought that somewhere else would be better.
Personally, I may never love everything about where we live, but I rest in the unmistakable fact that we are not here by chance. God has provided all that we have needed and beyond. He has loved on me by providing my family with things that truly, I only wished for in my heart...things I never even voiced as a prayer or complained about to another soul. They were things my Father knew about, and Father's love to surprise their children with good stuff...ya know, just because!
I'm humbled, to be honest, that He has put up with my thinking that I could do "life" better in my hometown. I have silently paraded around as if I knew best!
Now, I see that my hometown has imperfections just like anyplace else. It is not the perfect Norman Rockwell setting I painted it out to be. And, even if it was, we could pack up and move there tomorrow and be perfectly...
Because God has said, HERE...not there. God has said, THESE PEOPLE...not those people. God has said, FOR THIS TIME...not for that time, looking to the past.
I will always be grateful for my hometown for being, well, just a wonderful place to grow up! But now I realize, it's just that...a place. But MY place, the place filled with purpose and destiny for my family...the place I am growing more passionate about by the day...is here.
And that, my friends, means that I have changed a great deal.
***What about you? Are you believing in a lie that you are missing out on something because your life doesn't "look" like you think it should? Would you be willing to surrender that to God today?***