We went to Laughlin last week for our son’s football game. A place I’d never been in all my thirty four years of living here. I guess it was a place to bypass on my way to other destinations. The scenery was rugged as the mountains bounded down toward the Colorado River. I was glad to be there.
I spent my afternoon and evening with my family watching the game, but most of my attention was toward a precious woman who sat beside me. Our conversation was easy, as if we’d known each other for a long time, yet hadn’t learned all the facts. We asked questions about our history and journeys throughout this crazy life. In her questions I found myself answering over and again with a familiar theme. My life has been spent for the last thirty-four years wrapped up in a five mile radius. My school, all my homes I’ve lived in, church, jobs…seldom has anything fallen out of that area. She said it was eerie in a way, and well, it is. I never left for college. I’ve never left the country…(I’d never been to Laughlin!) We did try to move out of state before our youngest two children were born but God had other plans, so we set down our roots for good.
This is home. A town right outside sin city. But it’s the only home I’ve known. The place where my grade school is a block away from the private school where I teach. This is the town where all my childhood memories were made in. Where I learned directions not from a compass but from mountain ranges and the position of the sun. It’s where I learned to drive, had my first kiss. Where I met and married my husband. Where my three children were all born in the same hospital, just a couple miles from the house. This is home.
I never realized how grateful I am to be pouring back into this community until now. It is my heritage. It is the town where my children will have fond memories to look back on as well.
On the drive home from Laughlin, the road was long and dark. In the distance I saw light reflecting on the clouds and thought the moon was on the rise. But as the road turned and I drove northward I realized the light was my beacon home. The light of sin city and all it’s surrounding suburbs was guiding me home. I know, home forever isn’t found here in my town, I get it. I know the beacon of light toward home forever is in Christ. But I know beyond a shadow of doubt he’s placed me here, kept me in this town to be a light to point others toward Home in Him. There hadn’t really been much doubt but somehow talking about it made my calling all the more clear as I followed the beacon of light toward home.