Something all of the fellows already know about me is that I ADORED where I went to college. In May I graduated from Auburn University and I very obnoxiously have not been shy in mentioning how much I loved it. One thing I love about Auburn is that it prides itself in being a “family”. The town is covered in signs that say, “Auburn Family”, “Welcome Home” and “Family All In” which I understand might sound cultish but I promise it is more sweet than creepy. It was especially comforting to a Texas girl like me who four years ago was blindly walking her way into college without a clue. All throughout my time at Auburn I was consistently comforted by their emphasis on being a family but it was not the school itself where I found that statement to be true. Instead, I experienced that concept through the people I met during my time there. The people in my life at Auburn offered me a sense of shelter, belonging, support and love. College for me was a time of personal and spiritual growth and I wouldn’t trade any part of my time there.
With all that being said, graduating was rough. I was not ready to leave and it felt like this school that had become my home and my “family” for the past 4 years was pushing me out. I knew that transitioning into my life in Nashville would be difficult. Coming from a place where I was fully known and completely loved into a whole new environment was scary and deep down something I didn’t want to accept that I needed. Beginning the fellows program I was a little bitter and angry that I had to move on and “grow up” but it didn’t take long for God to really soften my heart towards the change.
This past weekend was my 23rd birthday and despite not having previously cared much about my birthday, I was a bit nervous because this year I wasn’t going to be spending it with the community I knew and loved so well in college. But what I did experience was something greater than I could have imagined. I started to see a glimpse at how special my community here was beginning to be. The fellows girls surprised me with the most wonderful Fiesta on Friday night and we spent all of Saturday wandering around Nashville doing girly things. They treated me to a delicious brunch, a trip to the mall for gelato and pedicures. Then on Sunday, my host family threw me the sweetest party accompanied by the most beautiful Texas shaped cake and invited all the people I know in Nashville. I was showered with notes, small personal gifts and more love than I ever expected. I am learning that the community I am beginning to watch form in Nashville isn’t going to be exactly like the community I had in college because my life in Nashville isn’t going to be exactly like my life in college. God has shown me time and time again since I arrived here that this is where I am supposed to begin the next phase of my life. I believe that my 23rd birthday was one of the many small testaments towards reassuring me of that. I am really looking forward to growing and investing in my new “Nashville Family” so thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who have already made my time here so special!