I recently got a new phone number. I’ve had the same number for about 10 years when I came home from my mission.  I only lived in Arizona for a few months but have held on to the number ever since because it always seem like such a hassle to change it.  However, having NOT lived in Arizona since February 2006, it is also a hassle to have to always emphasize my area code.

I made a facebook comment about my new number and mentioned how I was finally committing to living in Idaho for a significant period of time.  That was in jest but it did remind me of a much more serious conversation I had about the time I left on my mission.  As I made the decision to serve a mission, I wondered where I would go afterward.  I would have no reason to return to Rochester where I was living at the time and no reason to move to Minnesota.  (The Arizona move was somewhat whimsical and was in order to help out a friend going through a difficult time.)  Among the many responses to my decision to serve, my most dear friend, Jolene, told me, “My wish is that you will find a home when you are done.”  I wasn’t a foster kid jumping from place to place prior to my mission but I really did struggle having the identity of a home.  I have mentioned before that my childhood was a bit unconventional.  After my parents’ divorce, we moved A LOT and when we weren’t moving, due to “social obligations” of my custodial parent, I frequently did not know where I would be sleeping that night.  I did not have a place that felt like a safe haven for me.

(Quick tangent, Jolene also just mentioned to me a book I am excited to read called “Perfect Daughters” that talks about being a perfectionist in order to make up for a bad home life so that you can “put on a happy face” at school.  I thought I’d mention it here in case anyone else may benefit.)

After I graduated from college, I lived in 5 states in 5 years.  Again, no foundation or constant in my life.

Jolene, like all best friends seem to do, knew me better than I knew myself and knew what would make me happiest.  Immediately after my mission, I was in the middle of that 5 states in 5 years thing.  Then, through a stroke of luck or fate or what-have-you, I met this guy.

I have known exactly where “home” is ever since.  I don’t think I could ever be happier than I am when I am with him.

The day after my wedding, I had a bit of a – hmmm…how should I put this – “an exchange of opposite views” (thank you, Google) with my mom.  (I guess I should just call this the “dirty laundry” post…sheesh.)  I choked back the tears and told Doug I needed to use the restroom but would be right back.  I left the restaurant we were at and went to the attached hotel lobby.  My mom came to find me and (eventually) we made amends and started back towards the restaurant.  I will always remember rounding a corner and seeing my new husband waiting next to the door of the ladies restroom.  I still get choked up thinking about how I felt when I saw him there.  I knew that for the rest of forever I had a home and that he would take care of me and keep me safe.

I am so grateful for him and all that he does to hold true to all of those promises.

Lead image from Unsplash