Thursday, July 18, 2013


"These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles who came up from the captivity of the exiles who Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his city..." Nehemiah 7"6

A couple of months ago I was returning home from a weekend in Darlington and came to 540 in Raleigh - just another 15 minutes, and I would be at my apartment.  As I merged onto the Interstate, I thought to myself, "I'm going home."  I can honestly say that I have never had that feeling about Raleigh.  I always thought this would be a temporary holding place that God had put me in for seminary, but after that I would move onto other things, other places.  It actually took me aback when I was driving that this thought even occurred to me.  Raleigh was becoming my home.  Yesterday, I was leaving the Y- where I am milking every bit of my trial membership card, until I really join in a few weeks - and had the same thought.  I was turning onto the road that would take me .5 miles to my little apartment, and I would be in my apartment.  I could have gone to the grocery store across the street or to my crochet friend's house down the road or to the Chickfila around the block.  But I went home, and Raleigh is my home.

Mrs. Bush and I had this same conversation over lunch on Sunday.  Returning from her hometown in Mississippi, she finally felt like she was returning to her home.  The home she had made for herself in Wake Forest.  The same little room on the same little street corner will always be hers in Mississippi, but the beautiful house she and Dr. Bush purchased years ago is the home she has made for herself here, in Raleigh.

It is the sense of the returning that makes us long for home.  It's what makes us realize where home really is.  The exiles that were returning to Jerusalem were returning "each to his own city."  They had been in a culture they were unfamiliar with but knew their heart desired the camaraderie amongst their people - and the joy their hearts could sing on the return to Zion.  Yes, there is something about coming home and being settled in the place you are supposed to be.

Dovesville, SC and my little corner in the world will always be my home.  You can not take the country out of this girl.  But for someone who has been so unsettled in Raleigh, I finally feel settled.  I have taken ownership of where I live.  I know the roads and can generally meander my way from here to there.  Granted, it has taken all of six years to do so. But for those years I have wanted something different.  I thought staying in Raleigh would on some level mean failure and that I had not really made anything of myself or that ministry would be going no where if I stuck close to the seminary.  I didn't really care to know the places or the way from here to there.  There was a time when I wanted so badly to be out of here.  I am sure if you ventured back further in the blog reel you would find me talking about Nashville or Atlanta or Wilmington.  I didn't know where I wanted to go, but I knew I wanted to go out into the world.  I don't think it was an all together bad idea - I wanted to go out and do ministry.. reach others for Christ.. move out of the seminary zone.. That's what I was called to do, right?

But God has taught me differently, and it has taken just shy of 6 years for me to yield to His teaching.  I feel comfortable in Raleigh.  I like seeing familiar faces.  It's hard to believe that can happen, but it sometimes does.  I enjoy knowing my way around - finding places to eat - eating at the same regular places - visiting somewhere new.  Things change and your perspective changes once you rest in the will of God.  I won't say that I'm completely resting.  I fight against His will so hard sometimes, but it's the best place to be - Right in the center of it.  And I know that on some level, I am resting and yielding because I finally feel... settled.

"I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you."  Isaiah 48:17

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