After three years in a place that still claims part of my heart, the move stateside from Honduras was more than culture shock last June. My friends were scattered across the country, each member of my family was plugged in to community where they lived, and the mounting pile of rejection letters made the job market look as grim as everyone said.
I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t that.
Oh, I wasn’t upset or depressed, but the summer days turning into fall were, every one, a surprise. And every day I noticed someone rooting for me.
It happened when I would farm talk with my uncle as I rode in the tractor or when my mom would arrange a special outing or when my dad would come home with new ideas he’d been churning all day in the car. It happened when I visited my friends in Chicago or Michigan or California or Pennsylvania or New York and it happened when I reached for reception in my front yard to hear from far away kindred spirits.
It happened when I stepped in to the lives of others and they listened, encouraged, and prayed. And “rooting” still seems to be a great word for the way my family and friends support me. I’m living with my aunt and uncle and they have “rooting for you” down to an art form. I’ve watched them do it with so many people in their lives – listen, encourage, and then root like they’re going to get a kickback from others’ success.
So, I write a blog. I don’t make it a big deal, but I absolutely love doing it. I love thinking through the ideas while I run, being inspired while I’m driving, and sitting down to pound the keys into the shape of a blog post. I love it.
Though I do not hold it against people who aren’t avid blog readers (I get it, seriously), there is something very special about hearing your aunt or uncle say, “Well, you know Caroline blogs, right? You can get them sent straight to your email if you sign up!”
I’ve been kind of grafted in to my aunt and uncle’s family and they’ve become some of my loudest fans. They root with prayers, networking, career ideas, dinner parties, weekend plans, and late night life talks. They are rooting for me to run the race marked out for me with eyes fixed on the Author and Perfector of my faith.
I think that this is true community – rooting for others to win. And the rooting is not because we’re looking to benefit, but because we are so excited about what the Lord could do with someone’s life. I’ll tell you, being on the receiving end of the cheers is motivation enough to try and try again when success is slippery.