I recently got a new phone number. I've had the same number for about 10 years when I came home from my mission. I only lived in Arizona for a few months but have held on to the number ever since because it always seem like such a hassle to change it. However, having NOT lived in Arizona since February 2006, it is also a hassle to have to always emphasize my area code.
I made a facebook comment about my new number and mentioned how I was finally committing to living in Idaho for a significant period of time. That was in jest but it did remind me of a much more serious conversation I had about the time I left on my mission. As I made the decision to serve a mission, I wondered where I would go afterward. I would have no reason to return to Rochester where I was living at the time and no reason to move to Minnesota. (The Arizona move was somewhat whimsical and was in order to help out a friend going through a difficult time.) Among the many responses to my decision to serve, my most dear friend, Jolene, told me, "My wish is that you will find a home when you are done." I wasn't a foster kid jumping from place to place prior to my mission but I really did struggle having the identity of a home. I have mentioned before that my childhood was a bit unconventional. After my parents' divorce, we moved A LOT and when we weren't moving, due to "social obligations" of my custodial parent, I frequently did not know where I would be sleeping that night. I did not have a place that felt like a safe haven for me.
(Quick tangent, Jolene also just mentioned to me a book I am excited to read called "Perfect Daughters" that talks about being a perfectionist in order to make up for a bad home life so that you can "put on a happy face" at school. I thought I'd mention it here in case anyone else may benefit.)
After I graduated from college, I lived in 5 states in 5 years. Again, no foundation or constant in my life.
Jolene, like all best friends seem to do, knew me better than I knew myself and knew what would make me happiest. Immediately after my mission, I was in the middle of that 5 states in 5 years thing. Then, through a stroke of luck or fate or what-have-you, I met this guy.
I have known exactly where "home" is ever since. I don't think I could ever be happier than I am when I am with him.
The day after my wedding, I had a bit of a - hmmm...how should I put this - "an exchange of opposite views" (thank you, Google) with my mom. (I guess I should just call this the "dirty laundry" post...sheesh.) I choked back the tears and told Doug I needed to use the restroom but would be right back. I left the restaurant we were at and went to the attached hotel lobby. My mom came to find me and (eventually) we made amends and started back towards the restaurant. I will always remember rounding a corner and seeing my new husband waiting next to the door of the ladies restroom. I still get choked up thinking about how I felt when I saw him there. I knew that for the rest of forever I had a home and that he would take care of me and keep me safe.
I am so grateful for him and all that he does to hold true to all of those promises.