maybe i'm being dramatic | a premature post about graduating

it hits me most when i'm driving.

i love to drive in the car by myself. music up and windows down if its warm enough. this year i've driven a lot. mostly back and forth to upland for church and practicum and friends.

i've made that drive millions of times. making my mark on the town as i'm making my mark on the road. growing my love the for little strips of life each town holds as i've made my way to Upland day after day, week after week. knowing just the time that the sun would be dipping behind the trees and cornfields i have grown so familiar with. knowing exactly when those fields wouldn't hold corn any longer but just a distant memory of it.

always thinking about the the I-69 travelers who would be beckoned off the highway and onto an exit by the towering starbucks sign, unaware of the memories i've made and friendships i've built at those wooden tables. not knowing that for them it was a pit stop and for me it was home.

i never realized how risky it was to build roots. and how painful it would be to dig them back up. i failed to recognize the danger in using "my" in front words like church and walmart and starbucks and home as if they'd be mine forever.

my church.
my walmart.
my starbucks.
my community.
my home.

i didn't think time would really run out or that bags would really be packed for a final time. i never thought the time would come that i'd just be a visitor again, beckoned back by more than starbucks, but a visitor nonetheless.

leaving community is really hard. it has been so long that i've had to completely uproot from a place i've grown so familiar with, so i've forgotten the grief that comes with it. i guess its a good thing that i've learned to love this place, this community, this home, so much. but it doesn't make it any easier to leave.

"you're in college, kimberly! of course you found community!"
fine, but this sure wasn't the one i was expecting. i couldn't have even asked for a group of people who push me and love me and disciple me and laugh with me so well. but the reality is that's what i got. and in 66 days i have to leave it. i have to say goodbye to the people who love me so well.
the church that loves me so well.
the people who choose to see others through the eyes of Jesus.
the people who honor others.
the people who make sharing meals and laughs together a priority and sacrifice for it.
the people who rejoice in testimonies.
the people who will give up their weekends to do ministry for another ministry thats going to a different church in another state.
the people who make you your own pan of food because they know you don't like beans.
the people who drive 4 hours round trip to see you for less than 10 minutes.
the people who tell you where the spare key is.
the people who you've only know for a year but feel closer to than people you've known for a decade.
the people who forgive.
the people who show grace.
the people who trust in Jesus and believe He is who He says He is.
the people who hear His voice.
the people who are family.

how do you say goodbye to that? how do rip yourself out of that community just because you've been handed a diploma?

not once did i ever think i would find myself so deeply rooted in a community that i would want to stay in the cornfields of indiana for it, but thats what these friends, this church has become for me. the loveliest community i've ever known. with its own problems and issues sure, but with a great enough love to work through them.

"can i stay?" is a question i've asked approximately 400 times, but the answer, "not right now" hasn't changed.

and so i soak in these last 65 days. pondering and treasuring each moment of them in my heart. which is cheesy, but true.

lately, anytime i've gathered around a table with a group of my friends i cry or almost cry because i love it so much. bittersweet tears acknowledging the reality that it will be over all too soon.

i prepare to say goodbye. i prepare to pack up. i prepare to drive towards Upland one last time, stopping just short of it and getting on the highway, headed towards my other home.

indiana, you have my heart.


  1. Beautiful post. I had a ton of friends who went thru the same thing. Many of them stayed in the same college town and are living there now. If you're anything like me, life gets WAY better after college. But, then again, I was commuting 4 hours a day into SF. Couldn't WAIT to graduate and actually start making some money for the things I did all day. Hope the transition goes well for you : )

  2. Remember when we met 1.5 years ago and you were kinda 'done' with the whole college thing? Your closest friends had all graduated and you just wanted to move on. Nothing wrong with that, but it makes me smile and teary to know that over these past 1.5 years, your community has grown, your love for this time of your life has expanded and you are enjoying where you are RIGHT NOW. You are wise and fun and will make a great life outside of Indiana (or maybe stick around?). Enjoy these moments. Take lots of pictures. Give lots of hugs. Cry around the table. Those are sweet times, for sure. There is more for you ahead, but I love that you are in the place to just cherish these last 65 days of this stage of your life.

    xoxo, emily


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