Getting Back to My Roots

I’ve spent the last two days hanging out with my family and a couple of friends. It’s been slightly surreal seeing the small city (Rockford, IL) that I grew up in for the first 18 years of my life. It’s not the first time that I returned to be with my family after a stint in Hong Kong. It’s just I’ve really adjusted to life in Hong Kong over the last five years, and my visit seems to be affecting me more than usual.

(001) Rockford, Illinois_Rock River

I’ve decided I’m unofficially experiencing culture shock in my own country and culture. Weird.

Fortunately, there are a few people that are keeping my stable. One in particular is my friend  Garret Balcitis. He’s a childhood friend that’s stuck around in my life through thick and thin. No matter how long that we’re apart, we’re able to pick back up – not where we left off, but rather where we currently are.

(101) Rockford, Illinois_Winter Symbol 2

We took a road trip around the city and parked near the Rock River for an afternoon of catching up and encouraging each other. While there we talked about our lives, families, and ministries. It was a fantastic afternoon, and I feel recharged.

What’s even cooler is that Garret is just another guy. His friendship, though amazing, is nothing compared to the type of relationship that God wants to have with me and everyone else. He is more faithful than I can imagine, and I thank God for his steadfastness and His unchanging Spirit. Praise be to Him from whom all blessings flow.

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A Sojourn to Louisville

My trip to Louisville, Kentucky took longer than expected. There wasn’t a crazy story involved. Rather we simply sat on Hong Kong’s tarmac for 2.5 hours, which caused us to miss our connecting flight and stay overnight in Chicago.

The cool part is that my family made a trip from their home in Rockford just to have dinner with us. I couldn’t believe my mom’s reaction when I called…

“Hi mom, it’s Grant!”
“Oh my dear heavens! What are you doing calling me?”
“So Kristin and I are stuck in Chicago overnight. I know it’s a long shot, but I wanted to let you know that we’re free all night if you want to come visit.”
“Your brother Scott and I can leave in 30 seconds. Is that too soon?”
“Shouldn’t you tell Scott about the visit?”
“I’m sure it won’t be a problem!”

The conversation was a little longer, and I might have exaggerated a bit. And my mom doesn’t actually use the phrase, “Oh my dear heavens!” However, it conveys the way I felt and the fact that my mom was willing to drop everything and drive 1.5 hours each way just for dinner. That’s pretty cool and a sure sign of love.

It kind of reminds me of the father’s reaction in the story of the Prodigal Son. No explanation was needed from the son. No coercion or questioning. The father just dropped everything and made his son feel like the most important person in the world. It was the kind of gesture that few people in the world are capable of demonstrating. [Just to be clear, I’m not necessarily saying I’m like the prodigal son in every way!]

So, mom, if you’re reading this. Thanks for loving Kristin and me. It was well-received 🙂