For the last five years I have been living in Brownwood, Texas. It is a special place to me. Home of Howard Payne University, where I earned a bachelors degree, where I taught theology and bible and now where my oldest daughter is in college, it will always be a special place to me. But it is no longer home. Indeed, though it is a special place, I'm not sure if it was ever truly home. I never felt completely settled. I never felt completely accepted, nor did I ever develop roots. There are lots of reasons for this, but deep inside maybe I knew there was something else, someplace else. Brownwood would be a 'layover' in life and I would need to take from it "life's lessons" make friendships and go where I needed to go next for ministry and mission.
Sadly, when I made the decision to leave, several people I considered 'good' friends simply abandoned me. Although I made some great friendships - Pastor Tim, Sam, Don, my SCS colleagues, many students - some people to whom I thought I was closest just shut me out. I continue to wonder and reflect how you can call someone friend and then just shut them out. They didn't even say goodbye. All I can do is reflect on my own actions and examine what I may have been to sow injury or hurt. C'est la vie? Oui?
Well. Bozeman, Montana is home. The challenge awaits. It has already proven to be a place of promise and hope; a place of challenge and tears. That's OK, because deep in my heart, I know it is home.
Thank you Father for leading me home;
for giving me the wisdom to hear your voice;
for giving me the courage to follow your call;
for allowing me to be in Brownwood - even for a short time
so I could love, learn and live -
learn from my mistakes
and live life as courageously as possible.