I have many homes. I have my actual home in California, which is where I am from originally. However, I consider Utah to be home for me. I attended school there and got to know some awesome people while living in Utah. And Alaska, this was someplace I never thought would be a home for me, but it is someplace I learned to call home.
The saying “home is where the heart is” it rings kinda true, but how I see it is “home is where you are”. Alaska, specifically Glacier Bay National Park became a home for me last summer when I worked up there. Needless to say, I loved it so much that I am returning again for a second season. God worked on me in Glacier Bay a lot last year and I know He will be teaching me more this year.
Well, right now I am in Juneau, awaiting my flight to go over to Glacier Bay. To help you guys understand why I love this place I will be a bit descriptive. Okay so here it goes. The atmosphere is lively and wild in that you are in a city/town but you are immersed in nature at the same time. God’s creation is right at your fingertips, you need only explore for two minutes to see and be in it. I love this aspect of Alaska! Oh, and the rain, I cannot forget the rain. It rains a lot here. Glacier Bay is in a temperate rain forest. This means that the rain is cold, unlike the tropical rain forests, where it is a bit warmer climate than here. The wildlife and nature is surreal! I mean, we got black and brown bears, moose, dear, a variety of birds, squirrels, sea otters, river otters, sea lions, seals, and glaciers! Hence the name Glacier Bay. And lastly, my coworkers. They were amazing last year. We had an amazing team who I worked with! We were like family. We lived, slept, ate, and explored together! We all had fun and yes we had our differences and sometimes would get into little arguments, but we still learned to really appreciate and love one another. Now that I painted a brief photo of why I love this place I will continue one as long as you are still reading this.
God, has blessed me and prepared me for this journey. I stayed with friends in Utah for almost two weeks. I was so loved and cared for and I even helped out with meals. I spent time at my home church to be in the community there. Friends upon friends were visited and had fun doing so. Utah felt like home again, for however brief, God blessed me with friends who were like family to me. Community can be amazing, especially when that community is a second family to you. I left Utah for Alaska and have been in Juneau the past few days actually.
In Juneau, I stayed with an amazing woman of God who I met last year at Glacier Bay. Her name is Debbie. (Another reason why I love Glacier Bay! You never know who you will meet and be connected with!) She has let me stay in her home and I cannot be more thankful. I love her hospitality and heart for others! She is someone who really cares about what is going on with people. Anyway, she and I went on a boat tour up to Tracy Arm and I got to experience the life there and it was beautiful! I got to see some black bears, marbled murrelets, and bald eagles! I got to see a glacier too and it was beautiful to see it again! I am truly blessed by Debbie and her kindness and generosity.
I think these places are like home to me because of who I am with, and where I have gone. The memories, the fun, the places, all of which have a special place in my heart. If you have heard Hillsong United’s “Closer than you Know” the lyrics speaks truth to me of heaven being closer than you think. I could not agree more! Peter and Paul have talked about how we are strangers here in this world. We do not belong here. Our home is in heaven with Jesus Christ! In Hebrews the author talks about this in Hebrews 13:14 in case you want to read it but I would read past it and a little bit before it to get a full picture.
Although these places are home for now, they are not my permanent home. I know where my heart longs for, but for now I am here and here to serve and love others. I cannot wait to see what God will do and share it with you all! Oops! Gotta fly! Until next time! May God bless you all and may you find joy and encouragement in this!