Miles From “Home”

Staring out the 5th floor of the hotel window into the darkness with the city lights brightening up the midnight sky like thousands of pieces of broken glass, my heart was heavy.. heavy and broken…like thousands of pieces of broken glass. My mind wandered to the last few days and how I had ended up in this place…in this moment…in this time… of my young 15 year old life.

A thousand or more miles from home, my mind could only seem to live in this moment having been on the run the last few days and nights.

I had been “running” for a lot longer than that in my heart, running since I’d been 13 or so. Nothing seemed to fill the void I was feeling…so I ran. Now standing by the window I reflected on where my running had taken me this time..farther from home than ever before.

Days before I had walked out the back doors of my hometown highschool with my boyfriend at the time. Both of us heading West to escape “here” to get to “where”..??

By now my parents had heard of my whereabouts and a plan to get me home with the help of the local authorities was underway. Hours later, sitting in that holding cell waiting for my ride home the following day, I felt like my life was spinning in every direction yet nowhere I wanted to be. I did not want to be rescued.

An hour or so into the flight of the 4 seater chartered plane my dad had arranged the next night, the cockpit lights along with the exterior lights suddenly disappeared. My dad who was sitting up front with the pilot fumbled for a flashlight and scrambled to aim it at the cockpit instruments. As this started to become a state of emergency, contact was lost with the tower and we became a dark metal box gliding through the black midnight sky…the plane did not know where it was going and how it was getting there…something like I felt with the way my young life was going.

And then…to add to the air of panic…the pilot realized the landing wheels were jammed and the fuel needle was bouncing dangerously low…it was enough to make us all want to quit in that crazy moment.

As I sat in the backseat of the plane with my mom hanging onto me and begging me to pray, a numbness of sorts captivated me and I didn’t want to pray. I talked to my God in those years..yet in that moment ..I had nothing.

Watching the sweat drip down the pilots face in the dimness only illuminated by the small flashlight in my dad’s hand…I thought this was it. As the skilled pilot guided the small plane along a lit highway we finally descended down my small-town local airport runway with the landing gear unjamming in the moments before the body of the plane bounced onto the pavement.

Incredibly and Miraculously…we survived…and I was home.

In the years to come , although I was physically home…I was still miles from “home” in my heart.

As my life’s journey unfolded in many an entry in my journals , my ” moments on the bench” with my Jesus became a place where I would find “home”. My days of running were becoming days of walking… and my days of walking were becoming days of standing …and my days of standing …well you know…sitting…on the bench.. where my “running away” started to become a “running to”.

He gently continued to remind me of the lies I had and still was believing in my life that kept me “running”. He reminded me how incredibly much He ..the Creator of the universe..loved me and who He had created me to be.

Many years later, finding myself working in the school system.. I walked down the same school hallway I had once run from …and walked along side those teenagers who were still “running”…and getting the privilege to share my story…my “in the moments” with my Jesus…

And giving hope in how they too can stop “running from” and start “running to” the One who gave me hope of healing my broken pieces.

…..and finally find HOME♥️

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