Last week I had the privilege to return to my Alma Mater, Concordia University, Nebraska, for a conference put on by the DCE department. I jumped at the chance to return to the place where one the chapters of my story began. What was even more exciting, was that for the first time since we had met, my husband was going to be able to travel with me and experience this special place.
I think back about the excitement I had to attend Concordia. I would be 12 hours from home and I knew absolutely no one, which was an unusual route for me to take (in the eyes of many people, including myself). But I was ready for a new adventure and I knew God was calling me to DCE ministry.
For the four years I lived on campus, I fought the desire to call Nebraska, “home”. I would travel back to IN for holidays and breaks and consider it my only home. It was my birth place and where the majority of my memories had taken place up until that point. I didn’t want that to change.
But as time wore on, the friends and moments that were being made, began to define a new time in my life. This big ol’ state called Nebraska, which I thought was just made up of corn and football, began to be a place of belonging and comfort to me.
After four years of living, studying, a few hardships and lots of laughter, graduation came. There was excitement for the next adventure, but sadness to part ways. While I may not have seen it completely, that place, time and friends were my home. Those years shaped me for the next stage of my journey.
I established a new home in Michigan, my first as a college graduate. I was living independently and working at my first call as a DCE. Michigan will always hold a special place in my heart because I was welcomed and cared for with open arms. I established roots in that place. It’s also where I would meet my future husband.
The time spent in Nebraska last week made me realize even more that each transition brings great change and the need to remember how our past homes have shaped us so that we can embrace the people and experiences where we are right now. We’ve been living here in Maryland, and while I have hesitated to call it “home,” I know God is shaping me in this place and teaching me with each new day. God has given me many homes, and for that, I am very thankful.