Autumn leaves and changing light schemes get me reflective and this weekend has been no different. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of gratitude I’m feeling for where my feet are right now, and that’s really saying a lot.

I was sitting inside my friend’s car the other night, telling her how crazy it was that this past January, I had no idea who anyone in this community was, and here we are nearing the end of October, with adventures to last a lifetime under our belts, many more to come, and the steadiness of life, community, God’s love, and friendship tying us together like a gift that can only come from the Giver.

In January, if anyone had told me I’d be out of my parent’s house, but still living in New Hampshire, I would have laughed in their face. By then, I had grown bitter and made up my mind: I was going to leave New England for good, move south, and never return – I would figure it out. I believed that there was nothing left for me here, so I began the arduous process of applying for jobs anywhere and everywhere but New Hampshire, but because God is so patient and so good, none of those jobs came to pass.

And I thank Him everyday for it now.

A beaming ray of light came on Valentines Day when I was working my job at Teavana. Someone familiar walked in, telling me that they had been lead to come find me and tell me about their church. She showed me a video, telling me that her community was a little different, but that the Lord told her I should come. Nervous and excited about the prospect of finding a community, I told her I’d visit a couple weeks later.

I did, and I haven’t looked back since.

It’s funny how in an instant, nearly everything can change. It happens in the mundane everyday repetition of doing what we do, and it always comes when we are least expecting it to come.

A few weeks after walking into Crossing, I was at work on a Saturday and had been invited by a girl I met the week prior to a movie night with the Young Adult Group. I told her I wasn’t sure, but that I would think about it. I ended up going with zero expectation and felt immediately at peace with the people I was with. On my drive home that night, I began to piece together my life and where I had been, making sense of it all again.

I now call this Young Adult Group my friends, and we do the best we can to love each other where we are at. I’m grateful everyday for each and every one of them and the part they play in my life.

By summer, I knew it was time to move out and I began making plans to do so in June so that I could be closer to the community. By the beginning of August, I took the step forward, and it’s been the hardest, the best, and the most growing decision I made as of late, especially given the circumstances at the time. It required more trust, more faith, and more courage than any other decision I had made prior.

Because staying in New England was never my plan. But it was God’s.

I dragged my feet, but I told the Father “yes” to home in a mesh chair hanging by a chain in Nicaragua. I told Him yes in anticipation that He would deliver me to a place I could find the truth being lived out tangibly. I said yes in hope that He would draw me closer and heal me from the hurt and pain of all I had seen and experienced. I said yes, believing that one day I’d begin walking in my identity, not just halfheartedly, but wholly, fully, and completely — no matter where He took me. I wanted it to be oversea’s again, but I also told Him that if it were to be home, then that was okay, too.

And today, I’m confidently glad that home was the place He delivered me to and that home is now the place I walk inside with no expectation every Sunday and weekday that our community communes with one another.

Home is the place where the truth resided all along.

And I will never tire of giving thanks because of it.

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