I didn't write yesterday because I quite simply didn't have the time. We all have those days. And that's okay. I'm back at it today on a borrowed laptop from my second mother. I'm spending the weekend back in that little town where I spent years 18-24 of my life. It's a strange feeling. I've only been gone since August, a little over two months. It feels like no time at all, and yet it feels like forever. Driving these streets is somewhat surreal. It's not like going back to my hometown. Yes, I grew up there and I drove those roads and I had some independence, but here? I built an entire life for myself here. I was fully independent. This was truly a home that I made for myself, or rather that God graciously provided for me. It feels like nothing has changed, even though so much has. Part of me feels like I'm supposed to stay here, like that new apartment and that new job were the real break from my life here. The rest of me is just thankful. Thankful for the memories I made here and the way the good memories miraculously outweigh the hard ones. Thankful for somewhere to return to, a place where I can breathe the peace and quiet. It is a gift, this little town. It was home. And it will always hold part of my heart.
A friend asked me the other day what I thought about nostalgia, if I thought it was dangerous. I think sometimes it can be. Nostalgia gets dangerous when we start pining after a romanticized version of memories and compare those to where we are now. Because our memories are the end result. Our memories are the final product of waiting and struggling and a whole lot of mediocre days. And when I expect the beginning of this season to look and feel like the end of that last season, I will be broken-hearted and disappointed.
But when I allow nostalgia to remind me of who God made me, of all the ways that He provided for me, of all the ways He filled me and met me and sanctified me and walked with me, and allow it to fuel my faith for what He will do in my new place and my new season... Then it is a wonderful thing. Because the center of change can be a lonely place to live. It can be painful, and it often is for me right now. But I'm not going to run away from it and pine for what used to be. I'm going to take a moment in this old place and remember what God gave me and what it was like at the beginning. I'm going to visit this altar I built and declare that He is faithful and He is good and I am loved and He is at work. Then I will go home, and I will build another altar. I will open my hands in surrender, whether things are exciting and beautiful or painful and lonely. I will walk this journey with him like I have all the others. And at all times, I will declare that He is faithful and He is good and I am loved and He is at work... still.