My sunshine people.

Last weekend, sunshine visited me in the form of three precious humans: mom, sister, brother. We celebrated my mom's birthday and the pure-hearted, resolute woman she is while also becoming further acquainted with Atlanta. I played city guide for those 2.5 days which really means Yelp and my trusted friend named Garmin did their jobs. I'm still learning my way around but can find the important places like church and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams—both of which I enjoyed introducing to my family. We've moved a lot through the years but never lived in a bustling city like this one, so it was great fun seeing all Atlanta offers together.

Although the dining and art and shops here are excellent, the best moments were spent back at my house. Friday night we sat huddled on the floor, eating too many snacks and laughing till our notorious nonsense cascaded through the hallway. We've been through a hellacious year so to have enjoyed life and each other like that was God's kindness extended to us. I'd missed being in the same room with people who share my last name and history. First time introductions and small talk opportunities have abounded since moving, and I have grown weary. My family's company was refreshing. 

I cried as they pulled out from my driveway, headed south to the Sunshine State. I've cried at least three more times since and today as I write, the Peach State agrees in raindrops. These three—mom, sister, brother—pointed me back to the Father, in whom we all have a place and a family to belong. I am thankful this could even happen, knowing how pain has stung us four in swarms. Knowing betrayal, truth-twisting, and foolishness have wounded us and knowing we are capable of inflicting great hurt all the same. Yet here we are, still hanging on. I can look these three in their darling faces now and believe I don't have to fix or save or hold anything together for them. And that, for me, is growth. We've been hard pressed and struck down in this recent narrative, but our hope in Christ will not burn out. He beams brightly and clearly through these people...