Monday, May 5, 2008

Going home

1905 Lafayette- I loved growing up here!

Greensboro, NC where I lived until I was 16 years old. We moved in to this house when I was 3!

My best friend from Greensboro and her little boy Preston. She lives in Wilmington, NC now.

I got to see Randall, my best friend from growing up. She was my first best friend -we were inseparable from elementary school until my family moved to Charleston, SC my junior year of high school. After a falling out with some of the other popular girls (pretty devastating from my 5th grade perspective), Randall showed me what real friendship look like. It always so fun to go back to Randall parent's house because it always triggers a flood of childhood memories.

They say you can never really go home again. Perhaps it is not only because the place has changed, but because you are no longer the same person. I sometimes watch the show October Road, where the lead character returns to his hometown after ten years. The show is about reconciling who he was with who he has become. For him, it is a matter of finding his true self again through his old friendships and remembering who he was before he was jaded by success.

I was thinking about how it has been the exact opposite for me- I have found my true self since I left Greensboro. Although I have many great memories of growing up, I think back to who I was back then, and I am so glad for how God has changed me and helped me find who He is calling me to be. C. S. Lewis observed, "The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because he made us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own."

Randall's house- the sight of countless slumber parties, KSFDC, dance routines, sneaking out of the house, and go-carting!

Greensboro Country Club right across the street. We practically lived at the pool in the summer.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Christopher!

My sister Laurie, nephew Benjamin, and brother Christopher at his birthday brunch

I went to celebrate my amazing older brother's birthday in Greensboro, North Carolina. I have always admired my brother. He has walked through so much, but has one of the most incredible attitudes of anyone I know because his eyes are set on eternity, where every wrong will be made right and there will be no more suffering. One of my favorite memories with Christopher is when he needed to be reminded that there is more to our story than what we experience in the here and now, so he asked me to read him the end of C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle. The last paragraph of The Last Battle says:

"And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."
Sometimes we all need to be reminded that this world is not our home. We were made for eternity, and something in our hearts will always ache for the beauty, intimacy, and fulfilment we will experience when we are finally face to face with the One whose heart we were made for. In Mere Christianity Lewis says, "If we experience desires that no earthly experience can satisfy, the most logical explanation is that we were made for another world. " Christopher's life reminds me that we were made for another world and that this life really is a title page for the real story.

Christopher, I am so glad that you are my big brother. I remember as a teenager you wanted to go into the ministry. I looked up to you, but I did not understand your calling because during my teenage years, I was still in love with the world. God had a different path for your life than vocational ministry, but I want you to know that you minister to so many people with the way you live your life. Now I have found what you found at a young age and also feel the call to ministry- to give my life to Someone and something bigger than myself so that others may discover the profound wisdom of surrendering their life to Him. Thank you for going before me and showing me the paradox of losing one's life to find it.