as could be expected, being back home feels quite strange at times. it is definitely different from life on the logos hope. being back in america brings with it many new freedoms from all the curfews, rules and “guidelines” that are enforced on the ship. there are even freedoms that i didn’t anticipate because on the ship some details weren’t so much enforced rules as they were just adaptations to the way life runs on board. so that’s really what the differences between life on the ship and life in america feel like – not like change, but like freedom…
i am free to walk outside alone.
i am free to wake up whenever i like.
i am free to do my own laundry (yes, i do actually view this as a freedom).
i am free to sit straight up in my bed and not fear banging my head on the bed or ceiling directly above me.
i am free to wear my pajamas in the dining room.
i am free to cook food for myself whenever i desire to do so.
i am free to light candles.
i am free to take a shower and use more than 3 minutes worth of water.
i am free to hold the hand of my incredible fiance (once he arrives in america, of course).
where it does feel like change, though, is the difference between pre-ship “home” and post-ship “home.” that word, that place, isn’t the same as it once was for me. coming back from the ship, i am living in valparaiso, the town where i spent most of my childhood. but before i left for the ship “home”, and everything about it, was defined by the city of indianapolis for many years. it was where i learned, worked and churched. it was where i knew bike paths to the library, intersections to find the cheapest gas, and the name of every person who worked at my favorite restaurant. it was where i had community and neighbors. it was where i had friends. and it is in this regard that it seems like EVERYTHING has changed…
my house has changed from a broadripple bungalow to a ranch in valparaiso.
my roommates have changed from my dear friend kelley to my mom and step-dad.
my proximity to friends has changed from 1 mile to 156 miles.
my church has changed from common ground to calvary, but i am blessed to have found a good one here.
my saturday nights have changed from going to the movies with friends to watching movies on the couch alone.
my pop culture awareness has changed from nobody knowing who justin bieber is (except his mom, and maybe usher) to only me not knowing who justin bieber is.
my height has changed from a lot taller than my nieces to just a little bit taller than my nieces.
i am happy that the freedoms are easy to adjust to, because the changes aren’t always that way. but i trust these changes are all part of what the Lord desires for me – it was necessary to leave what i knew as home in order to experience all He planned for me, especially to meet the man who will be “home” to me for the rest of my life. it is necessary to live in what i now know as home until the Lord calls me to a new one at some point in the future. but in the midst of all these changes, i cling to the freedom i have in Christ, knowing that my entire life and every change it may involve are all in His hands.