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Busted Halo contributors reflect on the spiritual moments they’ve experienced on vacation — finding God in all sorts of destinations.

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July 26th, 2013

Vacation In My New Home

Returning from college after graduation to a new place and making it home

 
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home-with-parents2Now that I have graduated from college (woot woot) without yet landing a solid job, I don’t know what to do with myself. It makes me dread these summer months. To add an even greater degree of difficulty, I am dealing with all these feelings of unemployment and uncertainty in a new home, in a new city, in a new state. While this might have the makings of a great and exciting summer adventure, when my dad and mom picked me up from the airport in Austin, I was not ready to embrace those positive feelings. I only experienced feelings of strangeness. I was on some sort of vacation at my parents’ new house, which just felt uncomfortable.

Beaming, they took my twin brother — who had already been home for a week — and me to one of their favorite restaurants on Lake Travis. It was beautiful and the food was delicious, but it still did not feel like home. Of course my dad was eager to show me around the place he so easily and genuinely calls home. The next morning he took me to Mount Bonnell, a beautiful mountain with breathtaking views of the Austin skyline and Lake Travis. Even in this place of beauty, I still could not shake my feelings of displacement.

But one night my parents, brother, older sister and I sat down to watch Life of Pi. In an instant I felt at home, content — with the comfort and company, all the feelings of what home actually is rushed back to me. Being with my family was home. It made the experiences that I’d already had in Austin so much better. And I resolved that night to really embrace the time I had left there.

Even in this place of beauty, I still could not shake my feelings of displacement. But one night my parents, brother, older sister and I sat down to watch Life of Pi. In an instant I felt at home, content — with the comfort and company, all the feelings of what home actually is rushed back to me. Being with my family was home.

I decided to explore. Walking around a new place gives me not only a better view of where I am, but also time to pray and connect with my surroundings. I would drop my mom off at church and then take to the streets of downtown Austin. It was really a refreshing time to think about my future and talk with God about my next steps. On my walks I decided that I would also use this free time to do something that I had not done in quite a while — take dance classes. Dance has always been a great love of mine and always puts my heart in the best place. So, I took a modern dance class at Ballet Austin and it was awesome. It further solidified my place in Austin because it gave me another way to express myself in a very special way.

For a long time I was not at all ready to make Austin home, and yet embracing the time I had with my family, and the time I had with myself, made it all better.  And really, the adventure that my parents embarked on in moving to Texas is extremely significant for my own uncertain journey. I have a few paths that I could take as I transition into the next stage of my postgrad life, and while I have reservations and fears, I have more than enough reasons to be fearless. My parents are a continuing reminder of what it looks like to have faith in God’s plans and trust in wherever those plans might take me. Fear, anxiety and uncertainty are only temporary feelings, and it only takes a little reminder of what home truly is to kick life back into gear.

 
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The Author : Chantal Freeman
Chantal Freeman is a recent graduate of Fordham University with degrees in Music and Theology. She currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is working and continuing her studies as an opera singer.
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  • Veronica

    WELCOME TO TEXAS!! Hope you soon feel more and more comfortable in my homestate…especially in Austin! When you feel up to it, take some day trips into the Hill Country and some of the smaller communities…Greune is really great. When I graduated from college MANY years ago, I wound up starting my teaching career in my hometown. And I never left again. I sometimes wonder where else I would’ve gone and how my life might’ve turned out. I have a few regrets…but then I don’t think I would’ve wanted to live away from my family. In the end, God has a plan for each one of us, and we may not always see His hand in our lives. We just have to trust in His plan and lay it all at His feet. Good luck on the new chapter in your life!

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