I left my parents’ house in 1999, and never once have I been nostalgic for Jacksonville. I wish my parents lived closer to me, of course. (Mom just can’t seem to convince Dad that Birmingham is the place to be!) But I left that city without a glance back.
It seems strange, then, that visiting Birmingham feels like coming home. I realize my roots here don’t run deep — I lived in the ‘ham only eight months before moving back to Disgustaloosa. I don’t have the sort of network of friends here that I have in other places (that is, ridiculously deep and connected).
But man, does it feel good to be back, even for a weekend.
I went to a Barons game last night, just for something different. (We got our butts kicked, but that’s another subject I think.) Then I spent today at coffee shops — three of them, actually. My aunt and I took up space in a couple different Starbucks, then I had some much valued CJ-time at O’Henry’s.
Then it was to my much-missed, dearly-loved RMC for church. I’ve enclosed the prayer we used for confession at the end here… it was like a punch to the stomach. Oof.
I watched daylight fade to dusk on the deck of this amazing house atop one of the “mountains” in town, then spent the next hour transfixed by the city lights and enjoying conversation of friends as it swirled about me. It was so good to see my community group again, to get caught up on what’s happening in people’s lives and to just hang out. I love those guys!
As I sit now in my old room at my grandmother’s house, I feel kind of like I’ve returned to my high school bedroom. I know I was way out of high school when I lived here, and like I said, it wasn’t for that long… but it’s just comfortable, y’know? A lot of my stuff is here — I’ll even be sleeping on my own sheets tonight!
I don’t know where I’m going, only from where I’ve come… and it is a road lined with fond memories and friendships, even amid the potholes and confusion. My God is good.
Our Father, though we take your name on our lips, our hearts are far from you. The words we speak are untrue. When we say “yes,” we don’t mean “yes,” and when we say “no,” we don’t mean “no.” We like to think well of ourselves, and yet we are finding that our hearts are laced with self-protection, malice and deceit. O Lord, for the sake of your name, do not remember us according to our sins, but according to your great love.