We used to live there.
It was the strangest feeling to drive through the towns.
I saw my old house.
I saw streets I played on and trees I climbed.
I saw my old church.
I saw where friends used to live.
And I visited with some dear friends.
But emotionally it was like a ghost town. It used to be when I drove down these roads I felt like I was coming home. For a long time Kitittas and Ellensburg were home when where I am wasn't. I would long for "home", while sitting on my bed in my new house.
But now... I don't.
Don't get me wrong- I still love the people there very much. Still wish I still had community like I did when with the college students. Still wish I had trees to climb.
But I'm no longer home there.
My family is my home. And my family has moved.
And honestly E-burg has held me captive for much too long.
For years I was sad and angry over the move and didn't want to feel emotional pain again.
So I chose not to love.
Ever heard the phrase "It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all"?
Well for a while, I disagreed.
Loving and losing?
But it's true; it is better to love and feel pain than to be so wounded over past pain that you isolate yourself from love.
Steven Curtis Chapman has a song called "Burn the Ships".
Maybe you've heard it, maybe not.
Anyway, the song speaks of Spanish explorer Cortez. During the spring of 1519, this explorer, along with his fleet, arrived in Mexico. But once the crew faced the challenges of the new world, they quietly discussed returning ‘home’. In response, Cortez tells them to burn the ships. They were in Mexico to stay.
And today I can tell you I have finally burned the ships.
I know I'm here to stay.
And I'm not afraid to love.
And that freedom is glorious!