Actually, I've been home for two weeks. And for two weeks, I've thought about this post, but had a hard time sitting down to write it. Home doesn't quite feel the same anymore. For the first 18 years of my life, I lived in the same house in the same city and went to the same church. I've known my best friends at least since elementary school. I knew that leaving home would be hard, but I never imagined that it would be hard to come back. Things change in ten weeks. And when you're changing together, you don't notice it as much. But when you spend ten weeks changing and your friends spend ten weeks changing and your family spends ten weeks changing and then you come back, things just don't fit together quite the same. And I'm learning to be okay with that.
I connected with some wonderful people while I was in Georgia. Those relationships changed me in the best way. I served in the children's ministry of an incredible church. And the kids in that children's ministry? Well, they stole a piece of my heart. And now, suddenly, even though Georgia didn't feel like home, Florida doesn't completely feel like home either. I didn't expect this. I didn't expect that I would feel so deeply rooted there, or that I would miss it so much, but I did and I do. It was an amazing season.
I'm so grateful, though, for the friends and family I'm back with. I didn't realize quite how much I missed them until we were together again. There aren't many in the world who know me like they do and love me, too. They know what makes me tick and what ticks me off. Even though things have changed, it feels like we picked up right where we left off.
And in the fall, I'm heading to school, where I will inevitably leave another piece of my heart. So this week, I've been thinking a lot about home and relationships and realizing that things will never feel quite like they did this side of heaven. No two pockets of home and community will be the same, which means that none of them will really be complete.
And that's okay. In fact, it's a good thing. It reminds me that I don't belong here. And I'm starting to get used to that.