When at Home

…do as the people at home do.

It took me a long time to get to the point where I wanted to look back at Spokane, Washington and truthfully say I’d missed her. Though I resisted, and tried as hard as I could to excuse any need to take a break from South Carolina, I really needed a good dose of home.

Spokane has changed a lot. New condo developments line a ridge formerly known as the ghetto. New restaurants, coffee shops and bistros have popped up, bringing a sense of culture to a formerly one-track-state-of-mind city. However, you barely hear live music anymore as most of the venues I once played have shut their doors (because of strict fire codes that supposedly keep the peace). People apparently get rowdy in Spokane. My church is growing, but the familiar faces still greeted me with warmth and love like they had each and every Sunday for 6 years before. I don’t have to explain my vegetarian, gluten-free ways to anyone (except my Dutch grandmother, but that’s to be expected at 89), and I feel like I don’t have to be anyone but myself.

I should feel blessed that I have so many cities I feel at home, though none have as many memories locked away as the trees and the hills and the streets of this place do. I appreciate what Spokane has been in my past, and I appreciate its support of the future. She will always remind me of the risks we sometimes need to take, the hard decisions we often need to make. She taps me on the shoulder when I forget where I came from, but encourages me not to linger in the past too long. She always has this way of lighting a fire under me, telling me she’s proud of me; telling me to keep going.

I don’t know what God has next. None of us really do. But I’m reminded not to be anxious about anything. Today, at my old church, I was faced with a question: If God expects multiplication, why do I expect loss? The truth is, whatever God has granted us responsibility over, He wants us to use it, to share it, to multiply it. There is nothing in His character that will fall through. When I look at the past, I’m reminded that no one gets anywhere living in fear. Fear often takes the gifts God gives us and causes us to see them as the precursor to punishment, rather than an opportunity for increase.

Gus Sabestinas (in his message today), stated:

Love is fruitful; fear is barren.

Love risks; fear self-protects.

Love gives; fear withholds.

But the good news is that perfect Love (Jesus) casts out all fear. And in him is life and life abundant. I think I got stuck in a rut, too afraid to let God’s gifts grow. Being at home reminded me that I want to thrive. There’s no point if I’m keeping everything to myself. It’s time to flourish. We may be headed into the very dark season of winter, but my heart has come alive again. Sometimes it’s necessary to get away simply so we can see all the good that’s before us. I have been blessed…blessed beyond what I can even imagine. And God still has more.

Thank you, home, for reminding me of these things. I am grateful…so very grateful.

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