As I sit here on a rainy Nashville day in my favorite coffee shop sipping on the most excellent of all lattes ever made, I am working hard to hold back tears. What do I say to you, my sweet AGLM family, that could ever possibly convey my love and gratitude and every feel I am feeling right now? I realized that unless I typed a bunch of muffled nonsense and tried to stain your computer screens with my tears, no words would really ever get to the depths of how my heart loves you so. But alas, we are a blog and words I must give. So let’s do this….
You’ve changed my life.
I don’t mean that in any cheesy cliche way. Each of you..this ministry…this family and space we’ve created together….it has changed my life.
You have allowed me to see the beauty that comes from moving out of hiding and into the light. You’ve shown me there is no fear in being known, fully known- the good, bad, shameful ugly pieces. You’ve allowed me to cry and complain and rejoice and get angry and scold you and scold me and grow and learn together.
Togetherness. That’s what we created. We created a place where we didn’t have to be afraid to be who we are. We made a place where pain and doubt were welcome. We made a place where hope could live and more importantly, there was a friend who would walk with you as you figured it all out. We may have never hugged or had coffee, but we became a family that loved better and deeper than some families we are given by birth. THAT girls, is something to be grateful for.
I have been blown away by the way you girls have stood by each other through comments or community board posts. How you’ve prayed for each other, encouraged each other, and loved well. You’ve gifted life and grace to one another and in turn shown me and the other writers just how beautiful and big our God is. Me, Kelly, or the other AGLM writers…we didn’t make AGLM what it is….YOU did. We’ve just had the honor of sitting back and watching it all unfold into this tightly woven tapestry of true community.
As we face a new year filled with new changes, you might be asking yourself, “What’s next?” For me, well I won’t be going far. My eyes are now set on pouring into the AGLM writers. I’ll be mentoring, advising and guiding them so that they can, in turn, better serve you. I’ll still be posting on the blog here and there, and I’ll always be close by if you ever need to reach me.
We are family. No matter how far apart family may be, we are still always there for each other.
For you? Well, the choice is yours. Our hope is that you stay. That you stay to keep fighting for our family. That you keep helping us grow and change and love bigger and better than we have. That you call us on our crap when we’re crappy and let us do the same for you. We hope that you stick with us and continue to try and figure out how to be a girl in this screwed up world.
Together we stand. Because as scripture tells us, “A chord of three strands cannot be easily broken.”
All my love and then some to you my AGLMers. Here’s to many more years of life together and finding out we aren’t so alone after all.