Of all the trip stories I told you from Vancouver and Tofino, I left out one part that, as weird as it will sound, was kind of my favorite.
I was ready to come home.
At the end of the trip, as amazing and beautiful as it was, I was genuinely ready to return to my normal, everyday life.
There are no mountains in Dallas. There is no ocean. There's nothing particularly pretty, outdoorsy, or adventurous about it. I live in a suburban apartment complex. I spend a lot of time on tollways.
You know what it does have, though?
It has a job I enjoy, for an organization I believe in, with people I love.
It has a church in a pivotal season of its history, and the opportunity to put my shoulder under its mission and be a part of it.
It has people that have welcomed me with open arms, who have jumped head-first into my mess and are already becoming like family. Not just friends for the sake of friends or to fill time on the weekends — friends who sharpen me and challenge me in my faith.
(I've said it before and I'll say it again — the greatest evidence of God's love for me is the people he's allowed me to call mine over the course of my life. I don't know how or why he does it, but I am secretly convinced that I am friends with all the best people on earth. It's absurd. My people are the best people.)
I love the purpose I feel knowing that a real and good God went to a lot of trouble to get me here, spending years patiently teaching me that I can't receive good gifts with clenched fingers. Gently prying my hands open, reminding me over and over that when he removes something from them, it will be overwhelmingly replaced. Bringing my heart to a place where it truly believes that.
Settling down in Dallas, Texas, is pretty much the exact opposite of what I've always thought I wanted. But I know this is where I'm supposed to be. And for once, I wouldn't trade that for anything.
Vancouver was great. Tofino was wonderful. And I definitely wish I could, like, keep Nikki. But I was ready to leave when it was time, and for me, that's some kind of beautiful.
I've always been gunning to get somewhere else.
It's good to finally feel like coming home.