August 26, 2010

The Nomad's Anchor

Lately, I have been pondering where I fit in on earth. I was born in the small town of Neosho, Missouri. I grew up with white Christmas', Tornado Season, the smell of chicken houses, the safety of a small town, the world's largest flowerbox, bare feet in green grass, creeks and crawdads, family reunions, pork chops and fried okra, churches on every corner, Ticks & Chiggers, childhood friendships, Grandma's homemade chocolate chip cookies, hills, Thunderstorms, bike rides, aunts and uncles, and colorful autumns. I lived in Neosho for 19 wonderful years. I was very happy there, in fact, I was so happy that I seldom thought about life outside of my small, beautiful city. At 18, I began to feel a tug on my heart. It was dangerous to my contentment, but I began to see that God's plan was taking me places that I never envisioned. One crisp morning in October of 2002, I packed everything I could fit into my '94 Mazda and drove 7 hours to the big city of Dallas, Texas.

As I drove through the metroplex cities of Dallas/Fort Worth, hot wind sweeping through my hair, Audio Adrenaline blasting from my CD player, darting in and out of 5 lane traffic; I knew my life was different already. I spent the next 6 years in a place very unlike the one I grew up in. Dallas was hot, flat and full of life. I found that the city was exciting; concerts, restaurants that were open all night, shopping, celebrities, skylines, the only reason that I was ever bored was because my gas tank was empty and/or I was a poor college student. Texas was full of surprises for me like fire ants, traffic, HEAT, Tex-Mex, stolen CD Player(s) from my car, a sweetheart turned marriage, a whole new Texas family, 4-wheelers, jet-skis, poor inner-city children, Certificate of Ministry, and a bunch of beautiful friendships that I will cherish forever.  It was 2007 when my circumstances began changing and I prepared for new scenery. Adam and I opened our hearts to another adventure, telling the Lord that we were willing to go anywhere.

In the Spring of 2008, my husband and I drove across the southwest states of our great country to our new home in a quiet suburb of San Diego, CA.  Alpine was beautiful. The weather was perfect. I remember commenting that the Garden of Eden may have been located in this precious town. Over the course of the past 2 years, I have fallen in love with many elements. I love the harvest of fresh fruit that falls off of the trees at this time of year, 300 days of sunshine a year, the view of the rugged mountains, sunsets, Palm Trees, and of course the sandy beaches that line the Pacific are a glorious addition to my life. Out on the west coast, I often feel like the world is at my fingertips. Big Cities and beaches, what more could I ask for?

Here's my dilema. I know what more I could ask for. Dogwood trees in full bloom. Indian summers. Noisy holidays. 4-wheeling through arcres of undeveloped land.  Evenings spent watching deer run in pairs through open fields from the backporch of my uncle's farmhouse. Buttermilk pie. Family. BUT, if I went back to Missouri, I would long for the sound of the waves and the fair weather and the big cities with their cultural blends. Moving is not the answer. My problem is that I am now a compilation of all of these places. I am in love with San Diego. And Dallas, Texas. And Neosho, Missouri. These places and the people in them have shaped me into who I am, and yet I don't fit perfectly into any of them anymore. Who have I become? I am a nomad without a home, without a permanant residence.

1 Peter 2:11, "Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it." What a reminder!  I am often homesick, but where is my ultimate home? Not here. Not even on this planet. As much as I long for the changing seasons of my youth, how much more do I long to spend eternity with the creator of the rain, snow, and sunshine. I long for Heaven. 

Being a Christian means giving up the right to becoming comfortable here. As lonely as I often feel, I am anchored by my mission. I gave up my right to choose where to live a long time ago. My prayer is that God uses me as much as possible during my short stint on Earth. Because of that, I will be a nomad.

Along the way, I am thankful for the precious experiences held in each place He has given me to enjoy.

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