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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Here and There

"I bet that in two years you won't wanna leave." Those were my dad's parting words as I said a tearful goodbye to him and my mom in a parking lot 19 months ago. They were heading back home to Kentucky, and I was staying in Missouri alone. Nothing had ever felt so unnatural to me.

But he was right. He knew my heart. I fall hard for people and places. I love and don't want to let go. And here I am, three months from graduation, feeling like I haven't gotten enough time in this city, enough time with these people. 

Last semester was rough. I was exhausted. I hated my classes. I missed my family. This semester I'm realizing that the finish line is in sight. This week in particular I have started to notice that the trees are budding, the birds are chirping, the days are getting longer. Spring is just around the corner, which means graduation is just around the corner. And I'm not ready for the imminent goodbyes.

Didn't I just go through that?

When I left Asbury, I left with 300 other people. If I had stayed, I would've stayed alone. It broke my heart to leave, but even if I'd had the option to stay, there would've been no reason for me to be there any more.

If I leave Columbia, I leave alone, and my community stays. I will take the memories that I made, and I will preserve them alone.

I've got a Ben Rector lyric stuck in my head: "And I find I am divided between here and there and you and them and me." Oh, that is how I feel. My family is in Kentucky. My home is in Kentucky. Most of my high school friends have scattered, but when they go home, they all go home to Kentucky. Most of my college friends have scattered, too, but we'll always have the Asbury campus — and Kentucky weddings, for the next few years — drawing us back.

But how can I leave Missouri knowing that life will go on here without me? If I leave Missouri, I most likely leave it for good. If I stay in Missouri and find a job, it won't be as it has been because I won't get four months each year to go back to Kentucky and reconnect and soak up home.

Oh, I wish God would just tell me what to do. I don't want to be the person who's paralyzed in fear, unwilling to do anything until God directs it. But I also have the sense that I don't even know what I want. I want both things. I want to be here, and I want to be there. I want to stop joining communities and then leaving them. I want to stop making memories that I alone will keep.

I could just stay for a while longer — a year maybe, or two if Jane comes to Mizzou. But is it worth it to prolong the inevitable? Would it be easier to rip the Band-Aid off now?


  1. Aw, this breaks my heart! I'm in a similar position, as I am graduating this June too. Fortunately I only commute to college, but I have this fear of graduating and having to get my grown-up job. :/ But I wish you the best and that the right/best decision comes easily and soon to you. <3

  2. Whew, girl, I feel you! Graduation is in 80 days!! Ah! I have moved or changed friend groups every 2 years since junior high, and I'm not keen to do it again, even though there will be some good benefits from moving on from College Station... I was planning on staying in CS after graduation for a few years until this whole boyfriend thing happened, so I can sympathize with the struggle to know what comes next! Praying for you and the decision about what to do next. Although we didn't know for sure about grad school right away 2 years ago, once we found out, we had a new destination, and college graduation wasn't quite as scary. Now that I'm graduating grad school, I feel like a little baby senior undergrad! This must be what it feels like for those who didn't choose grad school! I have an ideal location, but no job yet... time to wait on the Lord!

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  4. My dearly beloved Kate, I adore you! I think you are one of the most fabulous, gifted, beautiful, wonderfully quirky people God has placed in my heart. You are the person I think about more than almost anybody, and I miss you even when I don't realize that I do. And I know there are a handful of people in Missouri who will feel exactly the same as I do, no matter where you end up.

    I can say from experience that God is pushing you where he wants you, even if you don't feel like you're moving anywhere. God uses fear and doubt to show you where you've come from, even if you don't realize it until you get where you're going. Uncertainty abounds, but He sees the big picture! You're in my prayers as you face the next crossroad, and I know you'll end up somewhere great, with a suitcase full of hearts in your carry-ons.


  5. So, I feel like a bit of a creeper commenting one of your older posts, but I'm doing it anyway. Came across it when I was scrolling through your fb...yep, I'm owning up to being a creeper. I like social media, and learning about people. ha Anyway, that's not why I was commenting.

    I relate to this post so much it hurts. I get weepy anytime I think about saying goodbye to Louisville. I almost cried in community group last night when they prayed over me after I shared about moving to S. Asia. I know I'm going to fall in love with S. Asia. Like you, I fall hard for people and places. I find myself calling Louisville home sometimes. I feel like I've left pieces of my heart in so many places. Goodbyes suck. When I leave Louisville my community will still be here. Some will leave as they finish seminary, but many people will still be here. Leaving is hard.

    So often I just want to know what God has for my future. I sort of know the next two years, but I have no clue beyond that. I'm moving to a foreign country as a single 26 yr old female, and often that scares the hell out of me. I don't feel adequate for what God is calling me to do, but I believe that he is strong when we are weak. Anyway, sorry to unload all that when you barely know me. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this post. It helps to know that I'm not alone in my thoughts. :)

    P.S. I think your blog is awesome. I've read some of it before when Jack shared a link on twitter one time. It's part of what inspired me to get back into blogging (adventuresofanallison.blogspot.com). That, and I needed a non-forced creative outlet. :)

  6. Yes! I have met her, but I didn't know she had a blog. I'm going to blog-stalk her now.

  7. Her blog is great. You should definitely blog-stalk her. She quit writing in it for a while, but started back this spring. That particular series of posts is my favorite.


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