I posted not too long ago about some fears that I had regarding returning to my childhood hometown to catch up with friends and family I haven’t seen for many years. Would they welcome me with open arms or would they hold me at arm’s length because I hadn’t measured up to their expectations?

The answer is yes.

But I must say that God blessed me abundantly though it all. I experienced the warm and all-encompassing love that only could come from a person who has known someone for years. It was wonderful to chat over pizza and share my heart with them. What a blessing it was to offer up my brokenness—not try to hide it or justify it—and have them see it as a part of my past, not as what defined me; and then love me unconditionally. It was also incredible to get together with my best friend from years long past and pick up on our relationship just as if we still lived down the street from each other. The only noticeable changes were our waistlines and the ages of our children. I even had the opportunity to share my brokenness to the next generation—as an example of God’s grace. Additionally, I was blessed with the gift of spending time with a grade school classmate who had dealt with her own brokenness … and we shared with each other the miracles that can only come from an all-powerful Heavenly Father. I get chills thinking about sitting with her at her kitchen table, holding hands and praying together. To top off my time away, I had the greatest opportunity to connect with new friends who told me I was a blessing to them. What a gift!

And I concerned myself with not being enough?!

I could tell you about the moments of awkwardness when I was with other folks who did, in fact, continue to see me as someone who will never meet up to their expectations. It happened; it was real. But it’s not worth mentioning. I can say, without a shadow of doubt, that the blessings I received far outweigh any snubs or awkwardness I dealt with.

It’s always scary to face down fears … but I didn’t do it alone. Thank all of you who prayed for me in my struggle. I felt God’s protection was all around me.

I can’t wait for my next trip back!

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