Four years is a long time. Not in that it takes a long time to go four years…. On the contrary, four years goes by in a breeze… but in that there is a lot of growing up that can happen in 4 years. I went to my hometown this past weekend and I realized that I have been running away from my hometown for the past 3 1/2 years. I have been running away from who people knew…expected… needed me to be.
I was running away from who people knew, expected and needed me to be to become who I really was. I didn’t know how to be who God was making me to be when everyone else was watching. Once I left it was hard to come back. It was hard because in the face of expectations and in the face of expected growth and transformation I didn’t really know who I was.
Well…This weekend I quit running.
I went home because I knew it would be the last time in a while that I would be able to get to Yakima. I needed to catch up with friends, see my old/home church and spend some time with a mentor and friend. But I won’t lie to you I was nervous. I hadn’t been home in a year and a year can be a long time. In the course of that year I got my first apartment, I passed my licensing interview, I feel in love with the Epic youth, I found a home at Downtown Chapel and I accepted a year long graduate interview at the Northeast District Office.
But in the course of all those things something else happened, in the course of the last 3 1/2 years I know who I am. When I wake up in the morning I am confident in myself. I am a little crazy and often silly. I am ridiculous and mischevious. I am a hard worker and loyal lover. I make intelligent, informed decisions… and when I make a decision I jump feet first into it. My heart is open to all and I love quickly and easily…. especially my youth. I love people, I love administration and I keep the two ever in tension. I’m smart, witty and I can actually tell stories that are funny… when they are about ridiculous things I have done or had done to me. I like meeting new people and I love to work. I am extremely awkward in that I love awkward moments… that is awkward moments when they are towards someone else but sadly the truth is that awkward moments are drawn to me. But most of all I love Jesus and He loves me. Everything about me, all my worth, joy, happiness and success comes from the Lord. It is in that one single fact and all that comes from it that I am able to know who I am.
And so it is in that position that I drove back into town Friday afternoon. I had dinner with my dad and his golfing buddies and then I went out to Applebees with some friends. It was at Applebees that we ran into some guys who we went to high school with. When I saw them my heart started beating quickly and my hands got sweaty because this is exactly what I had been running from for the past 4 years… running from seeing those who had known me in high school but then it dawned on me… I honestly didn’t care. I was okay with seeing them again because I finally knew who I was. I am still growing and finding out who this person is and what my life with Jesus looks like but… I can be confident in the me that I know. I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. It was from that point forward that I was able to really enjoy being home, being in the place that I had grown up. Visiting with friends, enjoying the different aspects of Yakima and going back to the church where I gave my life to Jesus.
So you see… this weekend I quit running from my past. I quit running and in stopping God showed me the beauty of my hometown.
What have you been running from and why have you been running?
Who is God making you to be, who is God telling you that you are that
you don’t need to keep running anymore?
I challenge you to find out who you are in Christ so that you don’t run any longer!