I never left home and went off to college after high school nor do I ever think that thought even crossed my mind. Of course getting pregnant and having a baby days before graduation wasn’t in the plans either but that happened anyway. This time of year though, there is a lot of emphasis regarding “going home” for the holidays and that feeling you get when you go home. Since I never experienced that I think that I can compare it to the feeling I get when I return to the church I spent a great majority of my life attending.
There was a period of time that we ventured out and got plugged in at another church, this being a first for me! I had never left “the nest” so to speak and it was a huge step of faith and bravery when I did as I love comfort. I would have never expected to have left “home” but I did and it ended up being the most beneficial for my life and the life of my family. There was a death of a prominent staple at the church and we attended the funeral along with many many others who had moved on over the years. Walking into that sanctuary after 2 years brought this feeling of “home” to me and it completely swept me off my feet. The smells in there were so familiar as well as so many of the faces and leadership, it was very comforting. It was also at at time when the smaller church was trying to figure out how they wanted to transition into the new leadership roles and being someone who is completely uncomfortable when the pendulum is swinging I reflected that feeling of “home” that we had felt and immediately took that as a safe landing spot for the time.
Looking back now I realize that the pendulum needed to swing and I needed to be removed because there were things in my life that I needed to be broken of, and it wasn’t “just me” I mean, there were other people who had garbage in their lives that they needed to be broken of and I don’t know that it ever happened but I see now that had things remained as they were, nothing would have EVER changed for anyone. There would have never been any accountability or growth, and the enabling would have continued and that isn’t okay. As much as it hurt to have to break up what we had allowed God to build there, and as much as it looked like we just ran when things got weird, AND as much as I don’t feel like I owe an explanation to ANYONE about any of this, I know that the situations leading up to this past weekend have been such a clear indication as to what our next move would have to be.
I wont sit here and compare apples and oranges because there is no need. Everyone knows they are both fruit and they are both delicious when they are ripe and beneficial when they are eaten. There is just that time in a persons life when home will always be home, even if you don’t LIVE there anymore. It will always feel like home and even smell like home. The food will always taste like home and the people will always be the ones you remember growing up with and then there will be some new faces when you return for a visit. But when it is time to grow up and move out of the house, you do. You move out on your own and you grow up. You learn how to live standing on your own two feet. You learn different ways to cook and different foods to eat, different ingredients to use that you never had even known about or that you really enjoyed! You meet new people, people who are exactly what you hoped you would meet and be able to call friends. People unlike any that you had ever befriended at home, who loved and accepted you for who you are and WANTED to get to know you even more!! You enjoy life that is done completely different than the life you had grown up living but all encircled around the same Jesus you grew up loving.
Everyone one day will grow up and “leave the nest” I mean, that IS the idea isn’t it? We raise people up to prepare them for the world that they should go out and conquer, or at the very least survive. Some will leave and come back and some will leave and never look back. But the time spent growing in that nest will never be forgotten or disregarded and the people who built that nest will never be less loved but rather more cherished. In the same way they are cherished they should also be able to look out with pride to see that bird they raised out there strong and healthy, flying with other birds, growing in their faith that had been nourished by you for SO many years. Their success is in part because of the nurturing you had given, so much to the point that they were finally stable enough to be able to spread those wings and fly on their own. Being able to move on shouldn’t be taken as an insult or a failure on the parents part but rather as a successful moment in their life. To be able to witness the person you brought up living out their life with the part of you in their heart and the knowledge they obtained from you cemented in their minds should be considered a blessing and not a failure. You might miss being able to see them all the time, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t with them in heart or mind. Because no one ever forgets the house they grew up in, not even when they don’t live there anymore.