to my traverse city family

Each season has its beauty.

When I find myself in a transition it feels rusty and hard.  Even if it’s one I’ve chosen for myself, I still have a difficulty with the direction I’ve taken for myself.

Someone once told me that this heartache of saying goodbye shows I care.  Not superficially, but deeply and fiercely.  On May 12, I walked up on a stage received my diploma and was declared a graduate.  I finally saw my diploma for the first time last night.  My education is my own.  I have evidence for my four years of work.  I have a degree in English Writing.  Maybe one day, I’ll have the privilege of teaching students how to write from their heart.  Maybe one day, I’ll look at my work and not judge it as harshly as I do currently.

Leaving that time of my life was hard, because I was leaving my security and comfort.  Spring Arbor has always been a place I’ve known how to act in.  Where to go and what to do.  I’ve felt confidant in my residence there.  However, it was never a place I felt I belonged.

It was a place I ended up in.  A place for me to grow up and step out of my tight shell.  A place that taught me how to speak up for myself and stand strong.  A place of leaving my old self behind and learning who I want to be.  A place in-between home and the real world.  A place of development.

Many things have fallen into my lap.  My summer choices and jobs came easier than I anticipated at first.  Even my choice to move to Traverse City for two months felt so easy.  However, the only difference between all my other summer choices was that this was a choice I knew God lead me into.  Each summer before I chose and I went.  God opened the doors and went on my journey’s with me.  He guided me and prepared me for where He was going to bring me.

And honestly, I don’t know how all this has happened.  I never would have imagined how much my heart attached itself.  The gravity of how much I loved these past two months.

Leaving wasn’t as hard as I thought.  Driving these past two days wasn’t that hard – I actually felt quite joyful.

But the reality finally hit me.  I know one day I’ll be back there.  (I so hope and pray it’ll be sometime soon after the New Year, but I don’t know.  That’s the future, I can plan it but God will guide me.)  I don’t know when exactly yet, but as night began to fall I began to understand the new change taking place.  The change of not seeing people I love weekly.  Of knowing, I might not see them for six months.  I love my friends from school but there’s something different – a connection built within hours contrasting that which was built over months and years.

There’s a heartache in my soul.  I long to be where I am not.

Yet so much has change.  I have grown in more ways than words can describe.  I feel confidant in things I hadn’t before.

And so, I thank you my Traverse City Family whom I love beyond words.  Thank you for taking me in and loving me well.  For bringing me a smile and telling me I’m beautiful – even though, I don’t always need to hear it to believe it, those words re still precious.  Thank you for praying for me when my words failed.  Thank you for letting me love you, because I so love to love without reservation.  Thank you for accepting me as I am and sharpening my character.

I can’t wait to see you again!

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