The single-best word for this year has been transition. The first few months of the new year were spent (re-)learning how to be at Hope, how not to spend every waking moment dreaming of NZ, how to embrace new friendships full of firsts in this strange season of lasts, how to say goodbye to a place that has become home. With transitions come a seemingly-endless stream of new. New friends, new degree, new title of “adult,” new expectations as a now-contributing member of society, new job, new city, new car, new responsibilities, new (and wonderful) people with new (and wonderful) stories to learn.
These transitions though - from a season of mostly difficult goodbyes to a season of mostly difficult hellos - have given me a better appreciation of the old. The friends I’ve had since we were awkward sixth graders trying not to get hit with a dodge ball at youth group. The family and home that stand ready to welcome me back. The church that helped me build my foundation of faith. This year of welcome and unwelcome change has reminded me of the blessing of having a tribe and the blessing of being able to add to it with each new season and passing year.
So today, on the first day of 2016, I want to say thank you to my people. To anyone who sees me - quirky, broken, loud, and loving - and decides to do life alongside me in whatever form that takes. You’re family. And you’re coworkers, you’re confidantes, encouragers, and listeners. You’re storytellers, you’re friends, you’re wonderful, and you’re loved.
As always, I love you for reading this, whoever you are.