My sophomore through senior years of college were spent in Cheney, Washington at Eastern Washington University. I made the six hour drive there from Vancouver many, many times, tooling along by myself in a little, gold Ford Pinto station wagon.
Unable to tune in to any radio station along much of the way (and no iPods, iPads, computers, MP3's or even cassette players available then!), I drove in silence, alone with my thoughts and views like this.
The scenery changed from green, rainy Northwest to the semi-arid, wheat country on the other side of the state.
I never tired of it.
Fast forward thirty years and I'm finally back!
This time with my husband and daughter, tooling down the road in a little Hyundai Sonata. Still not listening to music (never did get used to that), we talked for six hours straight as we headed back to my old college town for the first time since graduation in 1984.
I didn't even need the GPS to guide me here...to the first little apartment I lived in (emphasis on "little").
After only two months in the dorm that first semester, I called my parents and asked if it was okay with them if I moved out on my own; dorm life just didn't suit me in my sophomore year. I still can't believe they said yes. I was only 19!
However, those two short months in the dorm brought about a special friendship with one particular girl on the floor. Meet Z!
Would you believe that we haven't seen each other for nearly thirty years?!
She married during our college years (the director of our InterVarsity fellowship!), and they stayed in Cheney, continuing to minister to college students through InterVarsity and raising their family there.
We stayed in touch through letters, email and FB over the years, watching each others' families grow and hearing news about the ministries we both gave our lives to. But we never saw each other in person.
How very sweet it was to finally meet again after all these years!
It was fun to tour the campus with her, reminiscing about our years together there. Even got to see the famous red field that the football team (national champs in 2010!) plays on!
The one thing I couldn't remember was the location of the other apartment I lived in for two years...but Z did! She drove me right to it, flooding my mind and emotions with all sorts of memories from two years of life in that location.
One of the most significant memories is that it was the place I came home to after telling the Lord at a Keith Green Memorial concert that I'd go anywhere in the world for Him.
Who knew when I drove away from this very house thirty years ago, where He would lead me?
After a long, circuitous, and wonderful route, full of miracles and adventures, I found my way back thirty years later.
This town, university and the friends I made there, were all part of God's shaping for the calling He had on my life.
How sweet to come back and finally connect the circle.