Being home again after being away for an extended period often brings about some deep thoughts for the thinking. The photographs hanging in your bedroom or the books you catch a glimpse of while hunting for something in the attic can sweep you away to remembering a former version of yourself, and you might pause for a moment to marvel at the difference.

When you return home after a long time away, you wonder if you are the same person, and if the people who knew five years ago you can embrace the changes, or whether it will make for many uncomfortable reunions.

There’s a part of me that misses the lighter and generally happier young lady that left the US five and a half years ago, heading for Scottish shores. But there’s a part of me that recognises that who I am today has a capacity that the 5 years ago me didn’t. I have seen hard times. I have learned hard lessons. I think my character is better for it, and I look to the future with hope for what the Lord can do through me because of what He’s enabled me to walk through.

While Peter Pan dreaded growing up, and being “made to wear a moustache” and having to go to school, I’m reminded of the Hook version of the story. In the movie, Peter did grow up, and sadly, he lost, or forgot who he was before. But when Peter Panning returned to Neverland and rediscovered his childhood “faith,” the man (and the “Pan”) he became was a beautiful demonstration that growing up may not be so bad — as long as you can hold on tightly to the childlike faith that gives you your wings.

There is something to be said for letting go of what’s gone, but still, in a way, for holding onto it. Old adventures can teach new lessons. And sometimes they’re lessons that you didn’t have the capacity to learn the first time around.

This morning as I wrote these thoughts out in my prayer journal, I enjoyed (for the first time) the Bear coming along with his crayons to colour them. And for heaps of reasons to complex to express, I think my prayers have never looked so good.