I won't lie. The past four years have been amazing but have also had some moments I would like to forget. Overall much growth has occured but some of it has been very painful and the kind of growth you know, deep down, is necessary, but you'd pretty much do anything not to go through it.
We recently made some changes, however, and have moved closer to work and to a community we know well. In fact, you could say we've come home. It's an odd feeling: on one hand everything feels new. We've gone from a stand alone home to an apartment. I've moved from part-time to full-time work and our kids are certainly not kids anymore. On the other hand, everything feels like it did: the enviornment has hardly changed, the shops look the same for the most part and overall, life here doesn't seem to have changed much at all. It's both comforting and a little surreal.
The biggest difference is that who I am now, what I believe and how I am working through my life and beliefs, has altered somewhat and running into people we've known for a decade brings up the predictable question of what we're doing and where we're attending church.
I decided on my response before we moved. I am looking for God before a church. The responses are varied. Some are clearly taken aback; others are intrigued but the discomfort of revisiting some things that represented who I was in the past was inevitable.
I write despite trying not to. I cry and bleed and laugh into the page. What you see is what you get.