Two years ago this week I came to the Bay Area to look for an apartment. I vividly remember Jen driving me across the bridge from the East Bay (where she lives) to the Peninsula (where I would live). I had this tremendous sinking feeling in my stomach – “What the heck am I doing?” – “Oh my gosh I am very far from home” – “Oh crap, I’m going to live here” – “This is a really long bridge. I’ve seen pictures of an earthquake and bridges like this!”
Ok, I didn’t really have that last thought then.* But since Kevin and I moved to Union City, I cross that same bridge every time I go to my office. It’s normal now – the new normal. Life has changed so much in the last two years. I met a wonderful man – now we’re married. We’ve found a church community we love, and I feel so much more settled in my InterVarsity work here. I’m almost done with my master’s degree.
Moving to California was the most hopeful thing I’d ever done. And I knew it. I kept saying it to myself as I packed up all my earthly possessions. I said it to myself when I was looking at tiny apartments that cost twice my Austin mortgage. And I tried to say it to myself through the tears when I dropped Carrie off at the San Jose airport to fly home after our giant roadtrip here.
Hopeful because I had a great life in Austin. I loved my job, my church community, my house, loved it all. And still I sensed my own desire and God’s invitation to pick up and move. So moving, leaving what I knew to try something new. I had to be hopeful, or I’d never leave. I am grateful for all the meaningful goodbyes I had in Austin, they carried me through the darker and colder times here. A shoebox of affirmations from the IV Regional Leadership Team and a shoebox of sending notes and prayers from Mosaic are still treasures of mine. Like the writers of the psalms, I got to stretch my faith – remembering the community and good times of the past while looking forward to the new communities here.
Every year we graduate students (and send staff) who are off to new things. I told the graduating seniors that it takes at least a year, more like a year and a half to really transition. Leaving their college communities can be really hard. I imagine they have sinking feelings too sometimes – and I pray hope for them – that they would find joy in these growth opportunities of transition. Here’s to many more ‘most hopeful things.’
*I still have yet to feel an earthquake, though K says that most earthquakes won’t be much worse than when the train goes by our condo