I lived in Nashville from August 2007 to August 2011. 4 years. I have been away since the end of August, when I abruptly moved to Southern California to work for Project 7. 4 months. And my trip back to ring in the New Years lasted from December 29 to January 2. 4 days.
Let me go on record saying
it is hard it is impossible to squeeze 4 years of friendships and 4 months of life lived apart into 4 days.
As my Southwest flight traverses back across the country carrying me to my new-and-lovely but not-so-homey-as-Nashville home, I feel exhausted and energized, relationally blessed but emotionally drained, conflicted yet peaceful.
Here are 4 observations on my 4 years, 4 months and 4 days.
1. I left an extraordinary community, an extraordinary life, behind when I left Nashville 4 months ago. There was quantity. There was depth. There was variety. There was familiarity. There was authenticity. And there was accountability. As I sat around the dinner table this week, as I lingered over lunch, and as I sipped on skinny vanilla lattes, it all came back. Just how blessed I am to have found people who loved me well for 4 years and continue for fight for me and my dreams.
2. In the midst of a major transition, it can be difficult remaining in today and being thankful and present to the here, and the now. Yep, it can be difficult, but it is also essential. As much as I loved being in Nashville for 4 years, as much as I loved being there for the last 4 days, my here-and-now is in Southern California. And my heart, and my mind, and my hope, need to embrace that sunny-and-70-degree reality.
3. It takes time to build an abundant life in a new place. I have been extremely blessed in the 4 months that I have been living in Southern California. Friends have come out of the woodwork to walk alongside me, to break bread with me, and to pick me up from the airport. But I need to keep working towards, to keep investing in, building the type of community that I cherished in Nashville.
4. But mostly importantly I know this truth that I sang with tears streaming down my face Sunday morning at Cross Point. “I know my God made a way for me. It’s gonna be alright!”
How did you ring in the New Year?