My Story

Home – My Fresno Story Part 3

This blog is about sharing my story as God writes it. This is part three of the story that brought me to my home of Fresno, CA. I want to share this story to remember how I got here in order to help me process changes leading me into my next chapter. Catch up with Part 1 and Part 2.

The 2012 Olympics in London took place during the summer I was a Networker in Fresno. I love the Olympics. Doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter, for those two weeks every other year, I am glued to the TV. NBC’s Olympic theme song puts a goofy smile on my face everytime. I enjoy hearing the athletes backstories and watching the drama of the competitions. I love it all. I was thrilled to learn the Ellis family were also Olympic fans, one of many things my host family and I had in common.

That year we were paying particular attention to the U.S. Women’s gymnastics team. The Olympics weren’t until the end of the summer, but in June we watched the National Championships and the Olympic Trials. NBC, who was airing these events, played the Phillip Phillips song “Home” during the women’s introductory backstory segments. The song became a hit, so NBC brought it back for the Olympic Games broadcasts. It didn’t take long for me to associate that song with the Ellises and with Fresno.

After the summer was over and I was back at Judson, everytime I heard “Home”, I would think of Fresno. Turns out I wasn’t the only one. I got a text from Sarah saying that when “Home” came on the radio, one of the kids said, “That’s Alisa’s song.”

A year after I left Fresno, I moved back to live in the Pink House (the urban ministry program I didn’t think I had the strength for). Among other things, that experience served as a trial run for me to see if Fresno was indeed meant to be my home. When I returned to St. Louis for Christmas, I think I knew God wanted me to stay in Fresno but I still wasn’t ready to admit it to anyone. During that break, I was going to the dentist and “Home” came on the radio and I paid attention to the lyrics for the first time.

Settle down, it’ll all be clear.

Don’t pay no mind to the demons,

They fill you with fear.

The trouble it might drag you down.

If you get lost, you can always be found.

Just know you’re not alone,

Cause I’m going to make this place your home.

God was telling me to choose Fresno. Even though I didn’t have all the answers of what I would do, where I would live – all the details. “Settle down, it’ll all be clear.” God was in this with me, leading me guiding me. He still is. I still don’t have all the answers. But I know I am right where I am supposed to be. I am home.

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