Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I miss it. I miss the mountains. I miss the sunsets. I miss the ability to drive 15 minutes or less away from home and be out in the quiet places that offered such beautiful views of our shabby little town. There were so many spots that allowed you to get up high enough to look out over the city and see it sitting in the mountains with the river running through it. That little town that was my home and the place where I learned so much. Not just academically. Funny, academics is the reason I lived there, but academics seems to play such a small part of all that I learned in the four years that I lived here because some of the greatest lessons I learned during my stay here were these:
1) Jesus loves me...and I don't deserve that.
2)Joy and happiness and being content are rooted in gratitude.
3)Gratitude is rooted in the knowledge that I have been forgiven and loved by the Creator of the world and that is everything.
4)Blessings do not equal money, ease, and comfort. Hardships have driven me straight to God and have been instrumental in spiritual growth.
5)I can trust this Savior who loves me.
6)Patience...trials are a chance to practice joyfully trusting and obeying my Savior.
7)Friends and family... they try your patience and you try theirs. They also provide joy and love and you don't realize how much you love and depend on them until they are hundreds of miles away.
8)Forgiveness is something I need frequently for messing up on all those lessons I've just begun to learn.
Those lessons above are never fully mastered. They are always being learned in new ways and they have levels that constantly become more intense. But in the past few years I began to understand those things in ways that I never did before. And I really believe that being out on my own a bit was part of the reason I learned those things.
When I think of West Virginia I don't immediately think of a poor economy and the problems associated with the state. I think of a place where I began to really fall in love with my Savior and of the people who challenged me and encouraged me and have been a part of my life. I think of a place so beautiful that it's impossible to see it without gaining a glimmer of insight into the God who created such beauty. I didn't used to care for the mountains. It wasn't till I left them and came back that I realized that they felt like home. It's not my place of residence anymore. It probably never will be again. But it will always be a place I think of as home.
I guess I am missing it a lot right now.