“The secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt that He is.”
I can’t believe the convincing it took to get me home to this beautiful place just 3 months ago.
I dragged my feet back up North in June from San Luis Obispo praying some unexpected miracle could possibly be the reason God brought me back here this summer.
Three months later – I have no wild summer romance, thrilling social life, booming business career or anything glamorous, really, to boast of. On the outside looking in, most of my days may look rather routine and normal – but I wouldn’t redo a single of the 77.
I returned home heavy – aware this year rubbed my heart raw, but didn’t find the ways the mountains I’ve climbed have shaped who God is creating me to be until I took a step back (or a couple steps Northwest.) Through hardship I’ve found patience, through patience I’ve developed deep gratitude, and through gratitude – God has had the space to shine light through some of the sweetest treasures that I too often take for granted.
I have learned about saying yes and giving grace and counting my blessings. Day after day God has revealed to me that joy is a choice. The joy I’ve found in my summer of choosing family has been precious.
From my dad I have learned about optimism and from my mom I have learned about empathy. From Zac I have learned about leadership and from Abby I have learned about joy and from Olivia I have learned about commitment. A family of six is quite a show – but a darn good one.
I am thankful for running with the sunrise and for people to dance in the kitchen with. I am thankful for chocolate chip cookies that I am convinced are better than any in the world and the way saltwater feels like home. I am thankful to be a sister, a daughter, a learner and a lover. I am thankful for mountains and trees and sunsets that remind me to keep wondering about God.
I returned home more fed up with God than I have ever been and am leaving hungrier to find Him than ever before. That must mean there is something special about this place.
My simple summer days might look dull at face value in comparison to the big adventure I’m off to next. However – I’m confident that while the memories of 12 countries will be vibrant and colorful and unforgettable – my love for my roots will remain uncontested.