I’ve been in Raleigh for 27 days. 27 days ago, I was saying my see-you-laters to my dearest friends and to Charlottesville, VA, a city that had become a home to me after four years of college there. The idea of leaving Charlottesville was incredibly intimidating; I’ve said a lot of goodbyes throughout my life, since I spent most of my childhood moving around, and I didn’t want to leave the people and city that I love. At the same time, I was looking forward to starting Raleigh Fellows, and I know so very clearly that the Lord called me to Raleigh for this year.

While adjusting to this new place and new group of people has been really hard, and I’ve felt sad, insecure, and afraid quite often, there has been so much goodness here. I’ve had lots of sweet time with the other fellows. I have cheered on the hoos at the UVA vs NC State football game and then gone “birding” (electric scooters!) through the NC State campus with Philip and Daylon. I have enjoyed many a game night at host family houses and spent hours talking on the Crutchfield’s patio. We have celebrated Emily’s birthday at Watts & Ward and watched “This is Us” at the Boultons.

How special it was to walk into a community of people that wanted to know and love and support me. My mentor Meg is so very kind and thoughtful (and a very speedy walker!! If y’all plan on walking, expect a workout!), and my host family the Wileys are wonderful and welcoming (and had four puppies when I got there, although they have sadly all flown the coop). Ashley Crutchfield loves Jesus dearly and cares deeply for all of us.

Moving to Raleigh has been hard, but the Lord has also provided goodness here. The sweet moments don’t erase the sadness, and the sadness doesn’t negate the sweetness. I’m living in the tension between gratitude and grief, trusting that God is with me and is working in our dear Fellows community. I can’t wait to see how He moves in and through us this year!

~ Sarah