Every now and then I get the feeling that my life is described by one word. Some people choose a word every year to describe what they want from their life for that year. I am more of the reflective type than the visionary type, so I usually see words AFTER the fact.
Now is one of those times and bittersweet would be that word. This word means to be both happy and sad. Glad and mournful. The next few weeks for me can only be described as bittersweet.
Last week I gleefully accepted a new job- Director of Student Activities at Anderson University in South Carolina. I am glad and this is sweet. The reasons for this are numerous. Anderson is a smaller school with only 2200 students where they are serious about the relationship of faith and learning. Since I love small places and incorporating faith and learning, this is perfect. My new job works closely with student leaders, which is my favorite part of what I do. I’ll get to work with orientation and student activities. These are the two areas I believe my career will remain in, and where my gifts are best used. Anderson is much closer to my family and many of my friends- I have family as close at two hours away, and friends as close as one. South Carolina has hills, mountains, lakes, and the ocean. The Southeastern Conference has more TV airtime than the Big 12. The city of Anderson seems like a safe, great place to live with good community and a church I cannot wait to check out. Not to mention, I will be living off campus. Since I moved to college I have lived on campus and I really think it’s time for a grown up place that doesn’t have fire drills.
However, the reasons are also numerous that this is bitter and sad. My time at Baylor has been fantastic. I have learned a lot about myself as a person and professional. The sum of my experiences here have prepared me for my new position. I love my students at Baylor, and will miss them terribly. The students who where freshmen when I started will be seniors this coming year, and I am sad to not see them graduate. When I move, I will be losing my community here. I have some amazing friends in Waco, some who are old friends from my Belmont days, but many have become friends only in the last year. These folks have been my biggest cheerleaders and encouragers through the job search process not to mention the struggles of day-to-day life. Community means so much more to me now as a result of my life in Waco. The idea of leaving my church and my community makes my heart mournful.
God’s timing is perfect, and that was clear to me every step of my application at Anderson. I know that He will be faithful to provide for me in Anderson as He has provided in Waco. I know that He is for me.
My heart is heavy leaving this place.
My heart is joyful leaving this place.