Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thankful for a Home

 Given the season, I've thought quite a bit about what I am thankful for. Let me tell you I could continually praise God for the rest of my life and never run out of things to thank him for. But if I were to pick one thing in particular to share, it would be this:

I am thankful for a home.

Now, I don't mean the physical house that I sleep and live in, although I am incredibly thankful for that too. The home I'm talking about is the nonphysical place of belonging. A place where unconditional love and acceptance is given and taken. A place to rest easy in, a place to feel comfortable in your own self and in those around you. You know the home I'm talking about?

I spent most of last year begging God to take me home. I thought I was "stuck" in Missouri. I was 17 hours away from my family, going to a school that I didn't enjoy, working in a field I had no passion for. I was extremely discontent and all I wanted to do was go home - and by home I meant West Virginia. Looking back, I see that most of that was my own perception, my own lack of thankfulness for the current stage of my life. At that time, I didn't see God working in my schooling or in my job, all I saw was my own discontentment and displeasure at where He had placed me.

So, I continually asked Him to take me home. All I wanted was to be back near my family, in the state I loved, fulfilling my calling to pastor. So that is what I prayed for each and every day. "Lord, give me and Adam a job near our families. Let us go home." But little did I know that He was preparing a better home than I ever could have asked for. I've already shared about how we got our current positions and how we ended up in South Dakota, so I won't go through that again. If you'd like, you can read about that here. But even when we moved and I knew that God's hands were all over it, I never imagined that any other place  in the world could really feel like "home." I am so very thankful that I was wrong. We may be farther away from our families then we ever have before, we may be in "the middle of nowhere South Dakota," but this beautiful place feels like home. Of course I still miss my family, I always will. But I know that they are just as thankful for our current placement as we are. They too are thankful that we have found a home, a place we love.

You hear the saying all the time, "Home is where the heart is." Well, part of my heart will always be in West Viriginia, because that's where my family is. But you know, I think our hearts are big enough for more than one home. I think our hearts expand, as our families do. And I have found family here, in South Dakota. I don't think my heart is split between the two, it's just wide enough to cover the distance.

So thank you, Lord. Thank you for having better plans for me. Thank you for not taking me where I thought I needed to be, but leading me to the place You prepared for me. Thank you for taking me to Watertown, South Dakota. Thank you for all the wonderful people you have introduced me to. Thank you for the amazing kids I get to hang out with and work with each week. Thank you for providing me with more family then I know what to do with.
 Thank you for expanding my heart, and for giving me a place to call home. 

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