When I open my facebook, I see many beautiful friends, old and new. But some of them are like family, too... the ones I've known through family, or friends who became a part of my life during my student years, or people who God has thrown into my life at random moments and who have been faithful enough to stick around (even though I usually don't). Yes, these are my family.
I'm in a phase of transition - again - and I've set as my mantra that I won't live somewhere that I haven't lived before. I say this with some trepidation, because there's a big wide world out there to be found, and in my job, there are a lot of people to be helped in that big wide world.
But when I see the photos of my nephew and his parents, and my parents, and of my friends' children on the other side of the world, I remember that this is why. Relationships are like trees, growing on a foundation of strong roots. The more places I go and see, the more adventures I live... it's like I can almost see those roots shriveling up and withering away. I need to get back to those trees before their roots are gone entirely.
And as I sit here writing this, it hits me: my mantra is not as selfish as I have often feared it is. I often think that the needs of the world are so great: who am I to decide when I will and will not respond to those needs? But the tree analogy reminds me that fruit grows on trees. Good roots makes good fruit.
So I have said it before and now am putting it in writing: by God's grace, it's time to move back to somewhere I have lived before.