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I stood in silence. You would think I would be jumping for joy or shouting or—something. The last six months deserved at least that. I stared across the metal fence. I wasn’t even sure this was the right place. That’s exactly what I needed, to wander up to some stranger’s door, disheveled and exhausted, and find out that after traveling four thousand miles I was at the wrong house. There had to be some way to know for sure. I scanned the grounds for anything that could be a sign I was where I belonged . . . and there it was.

Off to the right, the setting sun cast a shadow of familiarity my direction. I opened the gate and walked towards the large stone cross. I had seen it before. Six months ago. In her Bible. As I packed her things through the tears of losing the only one who had ever loved me, I found a picture of this cross, right next to the note my grandmother left me to find if she ever left me. She knew even before I did that with all the tragedy in my life, I would eventually go on a journey looking for home.

And she had left me instructions.

I pulled the worn paper from my pocket and read it again.

“You will find yourself at the foot of the cross. Then you know you are home.”

I looked at the cross and suddenly hit my knees—tears fell as I saw it.

My last name.


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.comThe “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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