good night Austin.

I don't even know where to begin. Tonight is my last night in Austin. It's my last night to really live life day in and day out here. It's so weird. And it's finally hit me.

After saying goodbyes to so many amazing friends, after packing a U-Haul of stuff to move home, after closing the door and being in this quite house all alone. It hit me. I'm leaving.

I'm leaving the city that captured my heart when I was 18 years old. The city that, at 22, I was drawn to after college. The city that I left at 26, and then beckoned me back at 27. I love this city. I love love love this place. Until about 4 months ago, I never imagined leaving this city. I thought it would be my home until I went Home. But, tonight, my heart aches for leaving behind a place I've called "home" for the last 8.5 years of my life.

In the stillness tonight, I started crying. I think there is a part of me that's afraid of leaving a piece of my heart in Austin. Or should I say a piece of my life. I think I'm afraid of losing myself. And, being 31, I don't think that I should be afraid of that. But I am. Everything is changing. From my living situation to my Church to my job to my friends. It's a lot. But. BUT. I'm reminded that this is not my Home. That I, by His sweet Grace, don't live for me. One sweet day, I'll be in a place with no more goodbyes, no more financial struggles, no more big, life changing decisions. But, until then, I'm called to look beyond me... to seek the bigger picture... to look beyond my circumstances. And, that alone brings me Hope for what tomorrow may bring. For what this move, this life change, this leap of faith will bring.

A few years ago, I shared with Blair my "new favorite verse". I was going through a really rough season, and the Lord showed me through the book of John, particularly John 15 that all that happens to us in this life is not done in vain. There is purpose. And it's His purpose. At any rate, that Christmas, Blair gave me one of the most precious gifts I've ever received. He made a chalkboard for me, and on it, wrote my "new favorite verse". What's a-dor-a-ble about this story is that he wrote it in cursive... which Blair does.not.do. And that he wanted me to erase it and replace it with a memory verse. My response was this, "ummm... that verse, in your handwriting, is NEVER coming off of that board."

I tell you this story because after blindly walking past this every single day in my home, the Lord brought this verse to mind tonight in the midst of my sadness. He is pruning. He is pruning me by taking me out of my beloved Austin. He wants me to be more fruitful in Henderson. That's where He wants me. That's where He will use me. There is purpose. There is hope. There is meaning. There is peace.

So, good night Austin. I will miss you so so so much. But the Lord has a BIG plan for this small town girl...