I should be packing right now.
But as I find myself about to prepare for that (no, not to prepare for departure, but to prepare to pack, in typical Tamara fashion at the last minute), I wonder:
Will I miss sleeping on the sofa, TV buzzing in the background as I fade into slumber?
I know what I will miss.
Plymouth Beach at night.
Driving my car.
And even though Maine isn’t that far away, and I’ll only be gone for two months, and I’ve been farther away for longer amounts of time and at an age when it was appropriate for a girl to miss her home, I will miss Massachusetts.
I remember that I am a Massachusetts girl, through and through. But I remember more that that’s not what really defines me.
Yes, I’m friendly but know the rest of the country thinks I’m scary, and I don’t have a Boston accent but I still say bubbler instead of water fountain, and I grew up drinking coffee milk and eating peanut butter and fluff sandwiches.
But even a Massachusetts girl can be totally out of her element or even feel just slightly out of place in a couple states away, and be okay. Because more than I am a Massachusetts girl, I am a citizen of Heaven. And the missing of the place I call home for now reminds me of the greater ache for the place I’ll call home for eternity.
I sway to Kari Jobe singing. I listen to music when I write, and punch the keys like a melody, and I remember when I was in Missouri and so, so jealous of all the piano players who plopped themselves onto benches in front of 88 keys and pounded. And I couldn’t. Because I didn’t know how. But when my heart was so full and I didn’t know what to do with it, I wanted so badly to make music, to release.
I make music of a different sort now, and as I sway, I feel the release I always longed for.
But it won’t be this set of keys I sit down to now, at least not for a couple of months. And after that: who knows?
Before I step away, shove shorts and socks into suitcase, and drink in Massachusetts for the last time in a while, I remember that change can be good, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. And isn’t that life? And isn’t that the growing and stretching that reminds us we’re human, we bleed, we ache and we dream and we dive, and there’s a reason we feel dead when we turn off the feeling button, because we’re not robots. We are wired to feel. Even if that means being twenty-four and missing your mommy. Feel it. Feel it to its fullest and don’t deny it. And then remember you’re a big girl and Jesus is with you, and she’s only a phone call or a three-hour drive away. But don’t pretend it’s not there. Don’t act like it’s silly to miss your home, the place that helped shape you. But remember there’s a place you belong to more than that, and even though you’ve never seen it before, that it will feel more like home than any place you’ve ever remained for any length of time, because it is for which you were made.
And that there’s room enough in your heart to hold the love for home and the sense of adventure. That missing Massachusetts and looking forward to Maine don’t have to tear your heart in two. And that neither have to take over the total territory, but can instead launch you into thankfulness, that you were here for the time you were, and now you have the opportunity to go there for the time you’ll be there.
I know I’m talking to myself now. But I hope by letting you into my internal talk, you can remember, too: you (and I mean really you–not me talking to myself in the second person anymore), my brothers and sisters in Jesus, you leave and go, long for home and look forward to change, and it can all propel you forward into your purpose: being pushed closer to the Father, your Maker, the One who waits for you in your true home.