I can remember sitting in my closet, begging the tears to come as memories with my best friend shrouded my mind. Just moments before, I had waved goodbye, knowing it was the last time I would see her.
I was eleven, and my family was moving again for the third time. I didn’t know then that I would move many more times, having over half-a-dozen places to call “home.”
I have often wondered what it would be like to grow up in the same place. To never have to worry about my dad losing his job again and saying goodbye to everything I’ve learned to love.
But my story is one of change, one of just starting to open up and be myself with others before I have to get up and start over again. What would it be like to have friendships that last for the tears and the breath-taking, vulnerable moments?
My friendships got cut off. This constant lack of stability has ingrained in me an undercurrent of fear. Fear of being forgotten again. Fear of my heart getting hurt one more time.
But I have also grown through this. Because I was always the new girl, left out of the circles of friends who had grown up together, I now have that awareness to find the left-out. To invite the shy people to join the conversation. I want everyone to feel welcome, to feel known, appreciated, and safe.
In all the places I’ve lived, there have been blissful moments and difficult seasons of transition. Through these unique experiences, God has been shaping me, helping me learn to trust, to find my safe-haven in Him, and to show others that acceptance.
So, I thank God for all the places I used to love.