The famous Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz once quoted: “There’s no place like home.”
Five years ago, I would have argued that there were many places that I’d rather be than the new one that we called home. After my family and I packed up our things and moved from our home of eight years in Bennet, Nebraska to a new one three and a half hours away in a little town called Harrisburg, South Dakota, I became a very secluded, very introverted person. Since I was little, I hated meeting new people and usually relied on mutual friends and family to introduce me. At Harrisburg, I was thrown into a brand-new school at the beginning of my high school years as a freshman. It seemed that everyone seemed to know each other, and I felt alone in the sea of students. Looking back, I realize that I wasn’t brave enough to put myself out there to others and it made me feel awkward and embarrassed to do so. It amazes me that people were willing enough to be my friend. Sure, I gained and lost friends like the tide, but that’s typical for a high schooler.
But in the midst of it all, I didn’t feel at home. I went to our house every afternoon and put a brave face on for my parents, but as I looked around, I felt a longing for the home that I had grown up in. The home that I became a teenager in. The home that I knew every nook and cranny of. The home that held so many memories.
That place still sticks in my mind as it did before. I can still tell you where everything was in that house.
But it is not my home anymore. It now belongs to a new family who redid so much in that house. It doesn’t look like the home I grew up in anymore.
And I have to be okay with that.
Even though it was my first real home, it is not home to me anymore. It is not the place that I state my residence. I have no more ties to that house.
My house now has become my home. At first, I rejected the idea that it would ever become my home. But I now know every inch like the back of my hand. I put the address on all of my mail. I make memories in this house. It has become my home over the past five years, and thought it grew on me slowly, I am proud to say that I live in it.
Harrisburg High School, once unfamiliar and large, became my home away from home. I walked the halls nearly every day and spent countless weekends there for marching band and musicals and work. Looking back, I regret a lot of the memories I made there. Mainly because they were tied to a person who I no longer consider a part of my life. He once also became a home away from home. His arms once sheltered me from the crazy mess that was reality. And now I have shut the doors and locked them behind me as I explore this new world without him in it.
In five months, I will be doing the same to my home in Harrisburg. I will be packing my bags and stepping out into the new world without the guidance of my family and locking the doors behind me. I will be living under a new roof with new roommates in a new state. I will be making new memories and finding my Father again and calling the home I once loved my home again.
Even though I will miss this home I have come to love, I cannot wait to see what comes next. I cannot wait to make a new home for myself. I cannot wait to make new friends and make my relationship with God so strong that no one questions my loyalty to Him.
And someday, someday, I hope to call a house a home with a man beside me. Someday, I hope to claim the last name of a man and claim a place to grow our marriage, our lives, our family inside of.
But for now, my current home will have to do.