Saying Goodbye to Urbana-Champaign

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 03, 2017
Today I say goodbye to Urbana-Champaign, my home for the past 20 months. God definitely knew what He was doing when He put the idea in my head to move here. I met incredible, Godly women who helped shape and grow my faith immensely; became a high school leader to help do the same for girls at my church; started my first job; created a business; and best of all, lived with my sister for the first time as adults.

To my Bible Study ladies:
Thank you for everything you've done for me and my faith this year. As soon as I stepped into your group, I was met with loving women. You made me feel so welcomed and quickly became my closest friends. You taught me how to be bold in my faith, trust in God's plan, and lead through love. You were all nothing but supportive and encouraging during this time of transition - something that helped me to push on and continue to pray about. You ladies were such an incredible blessing to me here and I will miss you all so much!

To my High School girls:
You were all so amazing to me throughout this year. From meeting so many of you at CIY: Move, to becoming your full time leader, I had a blast. Although I was leading you, you all led me, too. You taught me to ask questions and search for answers, to get back in my Bible regularly, and how to share uncertainties and pray through them. Wednesdays quickly became my favorite night of the week and I owe it all to you. Thank you for trusting me with your vulnerability and for the continued love you've shown me. You girls are going to do incredible things in Christ, I just know it.

To my first job:
You were my first job out of college (actually, ever) and I couldn't have asked for a better place to start my career. Everyone was warm and welcoming right from the get-go and because of that, I always looked forward to coming to work. I made some wonderful friends here who always took time out of their day to stop by my desk and chat. They became some of my favorite people whilst living here, and I owe it all to you for bringing them into my life. Thank you for setting the groundwork that will enable me to do my job well as I officially enter the world of Human Resources.

To Southern Magnolias:
I am so proud of this company. Although we're not saying goodbye, we are expanding into new territory. For these past nine months, we've served Central Illinois, but starting on Monday, we're adding Chicagoland. I am so happy that we were able to start our business in this town. Champaign has been really good to us, from styled shoots to day-of coordinations, we've been busy. It's been so incredible to see this dream become a reality, and it all started here, in this small town.

To my sister:
Living with you has been the greatest blessing in my life since moving here. Some people thought we were crazy to live together at this stage of our lives, but I couldn't have asked for anything better. Sharing a home that we created together was perfect. It enabled us to start a business, make the same friends, and support each other like no other. Before living together, we were best friends, but now it's the strongest relationship I have. You're my bestest friend. The amount of laughter that has come from living with you is insane. Bethany, I wish I could put you in my suitcase and bring you with me, because leaving without you is the hardest part about this new adventure. I know that we're only going to be 2.5 hours apart, but not coming home to you everyday will be quite the adjustment. Thank you so much for everything you've done for me. You've been there through so much and made this move better than I could have ever imagined. To my business partner, roommate, best friend, and sister - thank you.

Urbana-Champaign has been a great place for me to start my post-grad life, but I have to say, I think Naperville is going to be a close second. I cannot wait to begin this next chapter of my life in a job I'm so excited to start. Chicagoland, here I come!
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