Tuesday, August 28, 2012

homecoming

sometimes the best way to prepare yourself to step out of your comfort zone and into the unfamiliar is to  spend a little time in the place that is most comfortable and familiar...

clemson will forever be 'home' to me.  i wasn't born there and i don't reside there now but most of my first memories originate in the town where the blue ridge yawns it's greatness. 
from my preschool days until i was one year shy of high school i lived in that picturesque little college town set in the foothills.  it was the place i began my own journey of discovering how my little life fit into a bigger story.  

it was those young, formative years that caused my blood to turn orange - not because of a nationally ranked football team but because of the family roots that had grown deep in the soil and the love for that place and it's people that had grown even deeper in my heart.  
the three and a half years i spent there later only solidified that.  when i began meeting friends my freshman year of college i saw them breathing in that sweet southern air filled with a rich history and a promising future and it pleased me to watch them slowly learn the thing i had known nearly all my life...

...there is a place where cornfields meet modern architectural designs.  and in that place the air is a little crisper, the trees stand a little taller and stronger, the flowers bloom with a little more vibrancy, and the honeysuckle sweetens the air a little bit more.  the people you pass are a lovely mix of intellectual minds and warm hearts.  
that place i call home never disappoints in the homecoming...
that's the thing that anyone who has ever spent much time in clemson will tell you.  
 and so i had my homecoming on saturday.  woke up to a fall morning making an early appearance.  walked along the tree-lined streets of campus and up the hill to the cemetery behind the stadium...the one where my grandparents are laid to rest...the ones who originally planted my family's roots in that town almost a century ago.  i sat under those big strong oaks and let the breeze wrap around me as i breathed in familiarity...breathed in life...as early as i can remember it.
i left that place on saturday evening to drive back home to the unfamiliar that was awaiting me.  as i imagined myself walking up onto that stage the next morning with only my words to offer, the butterflies began to flitter in my soul.  i felt a chill run up inside of me.  but then as quick as they came they were gone...scared off by the warm glow of home that was welling up inside of me.  all those discoveries that started in my childhood...all those chapters written in my home town...they were fresh in my mind and they washed over me anew.  they reminded me that an Author had been at work since before i even breathed my first breath...carefully scripting every one of these steps.  as i looked back on His faithfulness from all those yesterdays i fell softly into trusting him with tomorrow.

where do you go for a homecoming?