I came to Berea in August 2008. Over 7 years ago I began calling this Kentucky town home. I made it though college, met my husband, and had my first baby. I climbed the Pinnacles, explored Flat Lick falls, ran the Spoonbread festival 5k, and learned how to be an adult.
I also lost here: friendships and two babies, one laid to rest in a cemetery in Lexington. That was okay, because this was home.
But now I am leaving home.
Additional surgeries for Nathan, financial constraints, and other compounding issues mean that I am moving back to my birth home, back with my parents. I am grateful beyond words that they will take me back in and that I will have someplace safe to go. But I'm leaving home, and when you're faced with leaving something behind, that's when you really notice the little things that you don't want to be without.
I'm leaving my secure job for interviews and uncertainty, hoping to be hired somewhere. Really, anywhere.
I'm saying goodbye to the church that has shaped me in the past years: the church that brought meals and mourned with me after each miscarriage. That challenged me and that loved me even when my opinions were starkly different than others.
I'm entering into long-distance relationships with friends that have been my rock and sanity. Knowing that friendship cannot be the same 6 hours away as when I could show up on their front porch.
The nearest Meijer to me will be two hours away. And Newton Falls certainly does not have a Thai restaurant. There's not a mountain at the edge of town to hike when I feel overwhelmed, and no one says y'all.
Berea, thank you for being my home. For welcoming me, giving me such great opportunities and friendships, and for being so hard to leave. It is my deepest hope that one day I will return.