Finding Home: The Truth

Finding Home: The Truth

Why defining it isn't as easy as you think
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Boone, North Carolina is my home. That’s a deceptively complicated statement. You see, Boone is my home…but not really. It’s where my family is. It’s where my heart is. It’s where I’ve found peace and comfort and encouragement over the past two years. It’s a place I would be content to never leave. But that’s not all there is to the definition of home.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that home is not a place. It’s not even a person. Home is a feeling. It’s security and peace and comfort and the overwhelming sense that if you just kicked off your shoes and laid on the floor and laughed or cried or maybe both, no one would judge you. In fact, home is knowing everyone there would join you on that floor, laughing or crying (or both) because that’s what family does. And family? They’re not your blood. They can be, sure, but family is also those people who will lie on the floor beside you in tears of laughter or sadness because they care. Because they know. Because they love.

Family accepts your quirks, but not your faults. Family says “You’re silly and stupid and I love you because of that…but let’s work on that whole ax murderer temper thing you got going, okay?” Family loves through the flaws, but doesn’t accept them. Instead, family sees your potential and pushes you to be the best you can be.

So, yes, Boone is home. But it hasn’t always been and likely won’t always be. And that’s okay because here’s the thing: where I find my peace and comfort and encouragement could be anywhere. Trust me when I say I love Boone and never want to leave. But I fully believe that I could find home anywhere because my home isn’t a dwelling place or even people. My home is my relationship with my Savior. My home is residing in His grace, His truth. That’s where I find peace and joy and the greatest of loves. That’s where I find myself.

Unfortunately, home—our earthly home—will fail us. Buildings mold, burn, crumble. People betray, change, leave. Nothing this world has to offer will ever last. C.S. Lewis puts it perfectly in his book "Mere Christianity" (which I highly recommend to everyone, whether you’re a Christian or not):If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” I was made for another world. This is not and never will be home in the truest sense of the word. Temporarily, sure, it’s a wonderful home. But I don’t belong here. I was meant for something more than this. And there’s so much freedom in that. There is so much hope in that. I’m not meant for this world, so when places and people and even emotions in it fail me—I expect it. There are no surprises. I know this world is failing and fleeting and that’s okay because my God created me for something greater.

So home on this earth is a feeling. But our true home? It’s something far better than that, something we can’t experience or even comprehend just yet. And that’s okay, too. Boone is a not-so-bad substitute for now.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Smith

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.

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So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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