07 July 2008

You Can't Ever Go Home

No matter how hard you try.

I'm still in Arkansas visiting family and checking out all the old hangouts. So much has changed, but nothing really has.

I went to my Alma Mater (UCA) and as I strolled beneath the enormous oaks seeking any shade I could find, I almost felt like I was back in grad school... that is, until my middle daughter started grumbling about the heat and "When are we going to leeeavvve???"

I went by Pizza Inn on Oak Street, where I worked for almost 2 years and, in fact, where I met my husband, Clay.
But my former boss Rusty is no longer there (he's at Church's Chicken right down the road!) and the pizza just doesn't taste the same. Checking my blood-sugar and giving myself a shot before I indulge kind of ruins the ambiance, too.

Went by and saw Rusty so he could meet my daughters... he looks great, but the thought intrusively occurred to me that Nadia's not so much younger now than I was when I first went to work. Suddenly, I feel so old!

Spent a day with my high school boyfriend and his wife (how weird is that!) and found that she and I could be best friends if we lived closer. Such a great, Christian couple; I feel blessed to know them!

And as I drove past my old high school, the old neighborhood, and all the places I once called, "home," I realized that it wasn't so much the town that had changed, but rather, I was the one who had changed.
I may resemble the girl I once was; I may even gravitate toward the same locales.
But that girl is no longer.
Inside, I'm not even remotely the same.

The first time I stepped into a strip club,
The first time I held the hand of a homeless mother or prayed with a woman at wit's end,
Every time I hand out a bag of groceries or help a young mother "shop" for clothing at the Dream Center...

All these things have changed me from the inside, out.
Maybe my old friends and family can't see it, but I know it's there and no matter how often I visit, this will never be HOME again.

5 comments:

rwbowie42 said...

I'm right there with you sister ;>) You're right. It's not the town that has changed so much, it's me... you... us, and for the better I think... I hope.

It was good to see you again. Thanks for your comments about my wife. I agree, you guys could be really good friends if we lived closer.

Signed: Your "OLD" (as in age) Boyfriend ;>)

Shawn Wilson said...

oh yes the inside out change. It's that change you don't even realize is taking place until you go somewhere different and realize that you are no longer the person you were the last time you were here....been there.....lost friends because of it.....will never go back. Much love.

Lesley said...

Summer,

As always, thank you for your transparency and your honesty. I loved this post.

I've thought about this too. It's crazy how we change without even knowing it. I sometimes look back and don't even recognize the person I used to be... and to be completely honest here, I don't think I even liked the "old me" too much.

I am so thankful for the changes that God has made me and in my life. And, the good news is: It's a constant work in progress :-) Where would I be if HE hadn't changed me?? I don't even want to think about it.

Hope you are having a GREAT time Summer!! Have a safe trip HOME!!

Kelly Pitts said...

Hey! I found your blog! :) And I know what you mean as far as going home and it is same because your not the same person. When I took my first trip back home after being here just for a little bit, I realized then that God was molding me into someone different. And that it will no longer be the same routine that I was used to anymore. I still love visiting but every time I go to visit it becomes even more clear to me that God is slowly getting me ready be o.k. with leaving my family and friends longer periods of time. So that I can go freely to do the things He has called me to do.

Kelly Pitts said...

Yes. You can add me! :)