My time in Lynchburg is officially coming to a close.
It’s a wholly strange feeling, and leaves me in slight unrest. The change of proximity, the closing of a chapter, the opening of a new one, and the messy transition of the in-between.
There’s undeniable blessings in the midst of the transition though- I was reminded in so many ways last night. I watched friend, after friend, after friend walk up my wobbly stairs, and enter the firehouse I call home, to simply celebrate the friendship that we each share. Last night was a sweet acknowledgment of the community in my life.
I was left grateful, and adequately overwhelmed.
There was a speech made, appropriately and unintentionally queued to a rising song that truly did not help the control of emotions I was desperate to exercise. At the end of the short lived toast atop a chair, I knew there were numerous things left unsaid, and a load of individuals that weren’t there either due to distance or obstacles, and a desire for this community to know just how genuine my love and thanks was.
Due to my absent-mindedness, and to get the message out to all who deserve to hear it- the directors cut of my toast from my going away party last night. To include all of the sentiments that were missed, and to make sure this support system, these friends, this family… know they’re worth in my life:
“As is appropriate; firstly I want to say thank you for coming to see me off, to say goodbye, and to celebrate a new journey with me. I love that I am honored with an opportunity to spend time with so many special people before leaving. It’s entirely bittersweet to be closing the Lynchburg chapter of my life. After living here for almost 7 years, it has become more of a home than I have ever willingly admitted, and my time here with always be a haunt in my life. The ups and downs, the lessons learned, the good, the bad, the truly ugly, it all has found a foundation in this city.
My community, thank you for being my support, my family for the past 7 years. Those who have known me from the very beginning, to those who have only recently met and invested in me, you are each treasured and valued and have found a voice in my life. While I know this is in no way and end to these relationships, it is a sure shift and a new chapter to tackle.
I have you all to thank for shaping me. I’ve become the woman I know myself to be while here, and the tears, the laughs, the wisdom, the discipleship, and the love I have received from each person has truly fashioned me. Those are the things that have taught me a language I didn’t know existed before, a way of communicating unconditional and sacred love that has deeply moved me. I hope each of you are proud of the person you’ve helped shape, and that I can honor the reflection of your relationships in my life as I move forward.
While my physical proximity may be changing, and I won’t call the firehouse home anymore. Know that I hold you each close, I will miss your company fiercely, and in my heart we’re in front of a blazing fire… on the porch of the firehouse… just down Main street, up 12th, across Madison, and up those rickety stairs.”