I was raised in a small town in central
In many ways, I've lost my hometown - at least the town of my memories. I understand intellectually why it happened, but my heart never will accept it fully. I probably will never be back to live there, but I miss its simplicity, nonetheless.
In the same way, over the years I have lost the church of my childhood. There was a time when it all was easy - black and white - so clear and unambiguous. There was a time I saw "as a child" - and I loved and am grateful for that time of innocence.
Now, however, I have grown and put aside childish things. The church of my youth might not exist for me anymore, but I wouldn't go back to it. The church of my adulthood is messy and nuanced and baffling and frustrating at times, but it also is inspiring and challenging and growth-inducing and joyful. I glory in it, and I find glory in it (even amid the occasional goriness of it) - and I wouldn't go back to the church of my childhood. I am at home in the Church I know and love now, and anyone who has seen my house will tell you I don't mind the messiness as long as I have the love and growth and joy (and challenges) I experience in it.