We recently took a family trip to visit my in laws in north east Indiana. My husband was raised there, in a small town, as was his parents and grandparents before them. His parents still live in the same house they married and he grew up in. He went to the same elementary school that his mom and grandmother had gone to. When his grandmother went to school there though, it was a typical all-grades-in-one-building school house.
My husband has roots.
My parents moved around a lot growing up. My dad moved from Alice, TX to Oklahoma City when he was boy, and my mom’s dad was the state superintendent for Oklahoma, so they moved every year or more. I grew up overseas, as a missionary kid to Panama and Nicaragua, moving every four years (or more). Up until this season in my life, I have moved every four years. It has made for worldwide friends, rich relationships, and blessings along the way.
My husband though, has roots.
This trip we did something I don’t remember doing: we went to all his old haunts, passed old friend’s houses, he shared history of old dilapidated buildings, painting pictures of what they were in their former glory, visited the cemetery where most of his family’s generations are buried, and went on multiple back roads, winding through corn fields.
At one point, he commented how no matter how long he lived in the South, he would never be “from there.” He would always be from “here.” Being a transplant myself, I get that. We also discussed how when growing up in a small town, all you can do is wait to leave, not realizing the benefits it contains. Now in hindsight, in his 40’s, he sees a lot of value to where he was raised.
While it is something that I have always marveled about when we visit his home, it also makes me grateful for the perspective that I had growing up: that we are not made for this world, anyway. We are here for a little while, to honor, worship, and glorify the Lord, until we see Jesus face to face.
There are times when I wish I had something so permanent to go back to. But then I think about all the things hanging in my in laws’ garage that have been hanging there nigh 30-40 years and I wonder if my idols in life would be different than they are now.