Hellos & Goodbyes.

With college graduation just around the corner, I am coming to one of the quintessential moments in life that will always be remembered. It’s a time of endings and beginnings, hellos and goodbyes. Am I ready? I don’t know. Do I have a choice? Nope.

Hellos:

Charlotte. Coming back to Charlotte is going to be an adjustment. But I am so excited about it. There are so many opportunities waiting for me here and I can’t wait to plunge into this new stage of my life with my family and friends surrounding me. It’s comforting to know that I will begin in a place I know well, rather than acclimating to a whole new city again. While Charlotte has changed, I have too, and both are for the best.

Real World. Responsibilities. Finances. (BILLS!) Expectations. Relationships. You name it, and it’s time for it. I am excited for these “big girl” things to happen, and I just have to trust that God will lead the way with each step.

Applications & Interviews. Big girl world means big girl job. I do not handle failure/rejection well. I don’t know anyone who does. But here I am, admitting that I am nervous about applying, interviewing, and finding a job nearby. I know God’s hand is in this and has been all along, so I just need to take a breath and know “He’s got it.” I’ve done all I can do during my time in college to ensure success, so let’s just hope there are English positions open!

Elevation Church. Zach and I have been part of the AppState Extension site of Elevation Church since it’s birth, but this will be the first time that I will be a Charlotte Elevator. I went a few times in high school when the church was getting started, but I was very plugged into my home church at the time and chose to stay there. After a series of God-orchestrated events, we became a part of AppState Extension, and we know that we are called to be a part of this church, heart and soul. This semester, I went through the volunteer bootcamp and had the opportunity to volunteer a few times (including the Easter worship experiences) so that when I move home in a few weeks, I am already acclimated to the Blakeney campus. We love our church, and I am so excited to continue to be a part of this move of God under the teachings of Pastor Steven. The best is truly yet to come.

Goodbyes: 

Boone Winters. Hallelujah. While it’s not a final farewell, especially since Zach’s family lives in Boone, it is nice to say “adios” to snowy commutes, dreary walks to class, and slippery sidewalks.  I’m sure I will miss them in time, but Boone was sure to say “goodbye” with a bang this year. I will definitely miss the beautiful summers in the High Country, but I’m thankful to bid farewell to the unpredictable snowglobe.

My students. Goodness gracious, I have fallen head over heels for them. I know my time has come to leave college behind, but I have truly grown attached to them. It will be very difficult closing that door. They have taught me so much about myself as a teacher and as a person… in 15 short weeks. God knew what He was doing when he placed me at EWHS and I am so thankful for the opportunities I had there.

Grapevine Circle. What an adventure our little house was. The girls I have lived with this year have been a true blessing. Our 2AM life chats and half-asleep conversations as we get ready are something I would never trade. The flying squirrels, icy mornings, and broken appliances… were simply part of the adventure in the end. We truly made that house a home for my final year and it was wonderful. The eGroup meetings, prayer times, birthday parties and holiday celebrations created unforgettable memories. Some huge life events happened while we lived here: Erica kicked off her photography business full force, Lizzy planned her wedding, Chelsea A got engaged, I got engaged, and Chelsea G led the way as one of the most proactive, Jesus-centered church leaders I have ever seen. These girls have helped me grow into the woman I am and I would not trade our friendships for the world. It’s been an awesome ride. We will always be the Grapevine ladies.

AppStateExt. Am I ready to graduate? Heck yes. Am I ready to leave my church family? No way. Two years ago yesterday, God moved in a mighty way on our behalf on AppState’s campus. And He continues to do so today. I have witnessed incredible miracles with these brothers and sisters and it’s going to be terribly difficult to say goodbye. Last semester, I stepped down from my “position” in the church to make room for fresh faces and a new vision. All that they have done is incredible and I am so proud of them. I will miss my eGroup girls like crazy. I will miss worshiping in IG Greer. I will miss the thrill of the “last-second miracles” and the feeling of electricity pulsing in my hands in a prayer circle in that auditorium. I will miss the  passion of those who have  led fearlessly and faithfully in the midst of uncertain circumstances and challenging moments.  I will miss fighting the stapler to hold up black sheets to cover up bulletin boards. I will miss the smiling faces of the most dedicated greeters you will ever meet. And I will miss being under the sound of the most angelic voices of my dearest friends as they lead worship with their whole hearts. I have huge Sun Stand Still prayers for this Extension site, and I know God will continue to use this ministry to bring college students to Christ. It’s strange to think that I will become a distant observer, but this was a movement that transformed my life and Zach’s life forever. Zach was baptized through this ministry, we gained life-long friends, and learned from some of the most anointed leaders we will ever know. It’s been an incredible journey that we almost missed out on.. and I’m glad God intervened. I love my church.

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