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Monday, January 21, 2013 Welcome Home

I've had my share of the dorm life. For two years, I lived in a place called "the Quads" on campus, which conveniently included a kitchen, living area, and rooms for two people. Only 10 girls lived in each quad and shared two bathrooms. 6 quads filled up what would be considered "a hall," which gathered every Tuesday night for meetings, announcements, and Bible study. On most occasions, it was a nice escape from the classroom and the quiet hours after 9 p.m.. kept the place relatively quiet. Even more, only having a single roommate made for drama. Sure, it was nice. I especially loved being able to cook things like pasta and baked chicken whenever I wanted, just to make it feel more like home.

This last year has looked quite a bit different. Moving off campus now welcomes me to a life that includes my own bedroom and bathroom, a larger kitchen, a real living room, and only one roommate. On nights before tests, the ability to plop on the couch, turn on the TV, and spend hours with books or my laptop becomes a rather delightful time for me, despite the lack of motivation to actually study. However, God blessed me with a sweet roommate, a warm apartment, and little things to make it feel like home. Essentially, the two places that I've lived while here at Liberty became and are becoming part of my entire experience. 

It really comes down to that moment when you're at the school with your parents on the first day of freshman year. In my case, I was ready to be on my own and move away from all that I'd known in Arkansas. Fresh start. New faces. New home. It was time. As time went on, those people became a second family and the girls became partial sisters (that I've never had). Welcome home, Caitlin. Welcome home. My two years were up. 

Then, the end comes near (AKA graduation), and you're ready to start something completely different. Absolute independence. Welcome to rent payment, electric bills, and internet connection problems. It's all part of the off campus experience. But again, it is a new start with new faces. A brand new home. Change is good for me. It keeps me on my toes and makes every moment a new adventure. In my case, I not only found a new home in my apartment. I also found two new homes with Lynchburg natives. In the midst of the move - finding furniture, signing a lease, moving everything I owned (which wasn't too much) - I met people from my CSER (Christian Service) project that adopted me, fed me, and gave me a place to stay when the moving process became complicated. Even now, those two places are a refuge about two to three times a week. A home cooked meal. A nice, comfortable couch and many voices and friendly faces. Welcome home, Caitlin. Welcome home. 

At the beginning of this week, I had moments of homesick-ness. For my real home - in Arkansas. Like many times before, these new homes reached out and made me feel loved - I could only think, "This is really how Christ is shown in a practical way." And to add to the amazing moments that I've had, these moments when my heart is yearning for a home - a place of rest, a place of comfort - it only rings more true that the only place of true peace, warmth, and love is found in Christ. Alone. 

Going back to the dorms, the ringing message was never "Find security in Liberty. Find identity in Liberty." No, from the Bible studies in the hall to the prayer groups every Tuesday night, the leaders, faculty, and staff always saturated the environment with the prayer of each one of us to discover satisfaction in God, to seek His kingdom first, and to rely on Him. First. His people, those RAs that stayed up with me to pray for certain situations and the prayer leaders that met with me every week to discuss life, were extensions of His peace and comfort. Praise God for them! And now, in my new experience, these Lynchburg families are being that same extension of grace and love, and I thank God for them every day. All of this blog to say that I have found a second home in Lynchburg - at Liberty -  here. Welcome home. 

Posted at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)