20 Years

It has been 20 years to the year since Charles left Charlotte, NC. It was the only place he had ever called home. He was 17 when he left, eager to pursue the things he believed the Lord had put in front of him and a little bit running from the demon’s that seemed to haunt him there. It’s a whole long story, that all accumulates up to this, he left and he never wanted to go back. Although Charlotte has held his family, his history, and his memories, he has never wanted to return. Even as we have spent more time there over holidays and just visits with the family, we would breathe a sigh of relief as we drove down the 85, excited to get back to Atlanta.

Then something happened.

It was magical. That kind of electric magic that makes you believe in unicorns and leprechauns at the end of rainbows kind of magic.

We took a walk one morning around his sisters’ neighborhood. Hand in hand we ambled and talked inhaling the cool foggy air, admiring the fall colors still holding on the tree branches that begged to be rid of them. As we strolled into the cul-de-sac and started to turn around, I looked up at Charles and said:

“You know if the Lord asked us to move here I wouldn’t be against it.”

Everything came to a standstill.

“What?” Charles responded

“I would be willing to move here,” I repeated myself

Seconds passed even the air didn’t seem to move.

“Me too,” he replied

“What?” I said stunned

That’s when I felt it. An electric current that started to pulse between our entwined hands.

“What are you saying?….. Wait……What are we saying?”

That was it. That was the moment we knew, we were moving to Charlotte.

We spent the rest of the day and the next processing. Talking with each other, talking with Isaac, talking with family and friends.

There were quite a few things we needed to fall into place to make this move happen and they have. The provision, job, housing…all of it. So here we are two weeks away from our move.

We have been letting go of stuff, packing things, organizing things, preparing for this next journey we never considered.

I think I have also been grieving. You see Atlanta was going to be my forever place. I had resolved once the Lord moved me here I was not going to leave. I was going to raise Isaac here and he would raise his kids here, or at least they would visit us here. It’s just what it was going to be. We knew when we left Atlanta years ago to move to California we would move back. We just always knew. I guess my knowing stopped there and I never considered anywhere else.

I am going to miss it. Atlanta that is. Or at least I am going to miss what I thought it was. Which if you want to read about that, I wrote all about it here https://ourhighwayfive.com/2016/02/25/home-2/ when we first moved and I was sure it was forever. I etched vows into my heart about this city. I created a construct in which the only world my life existed was one that involved Atlanta. Funny huh, to hear about me boxing my life into some neat tidy lines. Sounds so unlike me…..*read sarcasm.

That isn’t what life is always about though. We don’t always get these neat lines of construct that hold our whole world. I should understand that by now. Well maybe I do, and maybe that’s why when that magical electric moment hit….I said yes. Maybe that’s why my yes hasn’t come with kicking or screaming, it has simply come with a, I trust you, Lord. I trust who you made me. I trust our relationship. Maybe even though I still have these boxes, these constructs, I am better breaking them down. Better at letting them be revealed, better at looking at them, and better at throwing them out once broken down.

Not to say I haven’t had a million moments of WTF Jesus. I am moving to a place I never considered, to live a life I have no idea about. Everything is new. I have no vision for what it would or could look like. I have been insecure, without understanding, and overwhelmed. I also have been more excited and felt more alive in what has seemed like a while. Guess breaking down those boxes isn’t so bad after all.

I am excited to live near Charles family….to have Isaac grow up with cousins, aunts, uncles, and PawPaw. I am excited for him to hear the stories and see the places his dad grew up, for their childhoods to intersect. I am elated for Charles to be able to go back to the place he ran from and live. I am excited for the hope of a full circle.

We are moving to Charlotte and that is about all we know these days.

Home

 

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It’s a sign that you see everywhere.  There are different renditions of it, “home is where you hang your hat” or “Home is where the heart is.”  Although I love the sayings and quaint signs and there’s truth to it, I find that I have felt more at “home” here in Georgia then I have felt anywhere in my life; despite not having built community, not knowing the town, the culture. Not even knowing how much my utility bill will be. I don’t know that Georgia feels like home because it is where my heart is. A piece of my heart is in heaven, and Southern California, and Redding, and Germany, and so many other places. Yet I feel so alive here.

It’s weird really, if I think about for a long time, to feel as comfortable in a place that is foreign to me.  I mean I am still punching my address into the GPS to find my way back after running errands. I am getting lost discovering parks. Each ride around town I find myself struggling to keep my eyes on the road as I soak in all the stores and places that line the streets.  I am not immersed in friendships and community.
Yet I do breathe with such an ease that my skin rests effortlessly on my bones as if the oxygen here exchanges unity to an identity that has always been me.

I haven’t quite put my finger on this community or even begun to understand the culture of our town. It isn’t a simple small town full of traditional life with passed down unwritten laws. It’s a town that is growing in wealth and people.  Tech companies are moving in creating a middle to high class industry and there is still a small town feel to it. It’s as if those who have lived here longer still hold onto the “old” Roswell and this new popularity  is demanding a change.

Yet each morning I rise, destiny seems to be where my heart, mind and feet land as I place them upon the ground. My spirit sings a song discerning I am moments from understanding this husky vision that has been spoken for years. The one that God planted in my heart at 19 when I first stepped on the red Georgia soil.  I breathed then with the same ease I breathe today, as if even then the oxygen exchanged a unity to an identity I had yet to distinguish. I didn’t ever grab a clear picture of what it was that God had for me, I just understood that He was nearer to me in this land then anywhere before and that felt like home.

It was easy for me to believe it was the people I was with or the ministry I was serving. Yet as I  walk out these days today, years later,  I have come to understand it is just simply not one thing.  When you boil it down home isn’t just a person, a place, or thing. Its not something your doing or who you are doing it with or where you are doing it. It’s all of them.  It’s the place where God has put you to do the thing that you were created to do.  He is home. In Him is destiny, identity, and community.  It doesn’t matter if I know the land, or the culture, community, or how much the utility bill is because in Him is the answer to all of those; and in time I will figure it all out. I will understand the culture, build my community, and I will eventually sort out the lay of the land no longer needing my GPS (this one might take me the longest).

Each place that I resided in before here, before this moment and these days. They shaped me. They helped form me into being able to be who I am.  I guess that’s why there is a part of my heart everywhere I lived and with who I did life with there.

I still don’t know what it is that I am created to do here. I don’t have this permanent idea of my calling.  What I do know, is that I am finally home.  I am not home because my heart is here, or because I hang my hat, or because Charles and Isaac live here.  I am home because I am living in the place that God has put me to do what it is I am created to do.

I rise each morning with hope and anticipation, excited that I am finally home.

 

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