Last night, we were invited to go to a special Family Home Evening celebration with some friends in the ward. Turns out it was a celebration marking the 30th anniversary of the dad’s (Dave) conversion and baptism into the church. We spent the evening hearing about his journey from first encounter through today, and he told it by marking important events with hymns. It was wonderful.
Halfway through, he mentioned that since coming to our city, he had lived within about a 3 block radius of his current home. He had gotten married there and raised a family there. Now, as empty nesters, they are enjoying the peace and beauty that marks a truly happy life.
In a lot of ways, I envy them for that.
As we sat there and listened to him talk, both Courtney and I had the distinct impression that we were looking at a model for our own lives. We both distinctly felt that we needed to stay where we are at, and that we are going to be there for quite a long time. It makes me happy.
For my part, I’ve been here for just shy of 10 years. I’ve lived those 10 years in a radius of about 3 blocks. I’ve married here. I’m raising a family here. Heck, I even have the same first name as our friend.
I was reassured to see that they had raised two kids (a girl and a boy just like us) in a home no larger than what we have. I’ve always assumed that our home would never work out long-term, but seeing what they’ve managed gave me hope. Incredible hope.
I asked them when they were going to pass the baton off to us. Florence, the wife, made the action of beating me over the head with an imaginary baton. “There’s the baton,” she said. How appropriate. The Lord has been beating us over the head for years trying to convince us that we’ve been “home” from day one.
And yes, that does make me happy.
Interestingly enough, my back yard meets up with the backyard of my very first apartment when I moved here. If you had told me then when I was a single, newly-returned missionary just starting life on my own that I’d be buying that house right there and raising a family and that 10 years later I’d still be here and planning on staying forever…
It’s truly incredible how it all comes together sometimes.