Apparently I belong in Alaska according to a BuzzFeed quiz I took this morning. Sign me up! All that water, all that snow?! I’m in!! Definitely my ‘Snocean’ as my hubby calls it!
But, it got me to thinking this morning—as I’m sitting here with a head full of hair color (medium golden brown to flush out those persistent awful greys!) (though I think I’ve got more on my skin which now looks purple and it doesn’t seem to want to wash off….pray for me, sisters!) How do we know where we belong?
Maybe I wonder more about this sort of thing being adopted and having that natural curiosity about my roots and birth family. And once I found them I wasn’t any closer to the answers or sense of self I’d searched for all my life.
What I do know is how God has secured and provided family for me time and time again in multiple situations and living circumstances. Since Bill and I married, we’ve moved from PA to OH to TN back to PA and now here in MA. Am I settled? Do I feel like ‘this is the place’? Is this ‘home’? No more than any of the other places we lived did—well maybe a little more. I love my water and beaches and snow, but I’d just as happily pack my bags and move further north to Maine or Nova Scotia—or heck, bring on Alaska!!
Still, in each of those states, the towns we lived in, God faithfully provided exactly what I needed. When we moved to Ohio, with tiny ten month old Michael in tow, our realtor’s wife was running a mom’s group and she quickly surrounded me with wonderful friends who saw me through three years of Bill traveling all week, only home on the weekends, while I raised our headstrong, stubborn, and too often screaming, toddler on my own. They were my sanity, my sounding board, my sisters…
Then off we went to Tennessee. Gorgeous lush green mountains surrounded the quiet little town of Oliver Springs where we settled. Turtles and skunks patrolled the streets, deer stood silent as I passed by on my morning runs, beautiful bright bluebirds visited our feeders, owls and coyotes filled the nights with hoots and howls. It was a wildlife paradise. It was also smack dab in the middle of the Bible belt. I fell in love with His Word in Tennessee. Wednesdays were for Bible study. Schools and athletic teams knew not to schedule events mid-week—everyone was at church. That’s probably what I miss most about the south. The further north we go there seems to be less and less interest in Bible study, sadly…
We moved back to PA for a couple of years, where God granted me the blessing of my dearest friends: Missy, Jenn, and Diane who saw me through the most difficult year of my life. I had started having seizures only to find out after a multitude of tests that I had a severely damaged spinal cord, squashed almost flat due to spinal stenosis and a crushed degenerative vertebra. At the same time, hubby was leaving for his new job here in MA while I was preparing for spinal fusion surgery to rebuild my neck before I ended up paralyzed. These girls and their families were there for me every step of the way and I am so thankful. I can never repay how good they were to me and my son, Michael—who was terrified I was going to die, something no kid should ever have to experience. But God saw us through and now here we are.
I feel like I’m living a dream, being so close to the water, getting to go rowing and seeing seals playing in the waves, beaches to stroll in the summer, picking up shells and rocks and driftwood treasures. A friend from TN asked me how I liked it here, if I missed Pittsburgh at all. This feels more like home to me than PA ever did. But, again, I could keep going north and be just as happy—as long as we’re by the water, I think I could be content.
Watching MJ on the Shahs of Sunset’s final episode of the season earlier this week, she said, “You have to find your family as you go.” And I have. I have family everywhere we’ve lived, friends who’ve held my hand, my heart, my crying baby, crying me. And I’ve found my place in God’s family, so no matter where we go, I know He’ll always see me through.
Until next time…