I get chills when ironic things happen in life.
We just got back from visiting Mr. Shook's parents in Ohio and I went through our mail last night. I often don't read the church newsletter first thing but I decided to sit down with it for a minute. The opening letter from our pastor really hit home to me. He shares with us his experience returning to the first church he pastored in Kentucky many years ago. He talks about how the people there molded him to be the Pastor he is today. How forgiving they were for his lack of experience (although I guarantee Pastor Paul put his practice to very good use there and the congregation wasn't disappointed). He shared how many of the faces were the same as they were when he first arrived there and how he recognized quite a few of them.
Yesterday we worshipped in our "home" church. I feel the very same way there as our Pastor did in Kentucky. Many of the faces are the same, the people are very familiar to me and these are the people who molded me into the woman I am today. Mr. Shook and I take very seriously the part of a Methodist baptism that says the congregation will help you to raise your child with Christian love. All 3 of our children were baptized in that church in Ohio and even though we don't attend there anymore I know that they pray for us, love us and support us with Christian love. So many of the faces are the same and it makes me sad when I hear of one of those very familiar faces not being around anymore. The people who we have known for over 30 years are like a breath of fresh air to me. Comfort, familiarity and promise.
You see, it's after going back and visiting what I would originally call "home" that I now realize that I am who I am and I am where I am suppose to be in life. I know this with my whole heart. I always need to work on the who I am part but I believe that God brought us to Central Illinois for a reason. I never really felt like Michigan was home to us but I think that I am now, more than ever, in my home.
And, it's scary and exhilarating all in the same breath. And it often gives me chills.