This last fall I moved from Arkansas, where DaySpring headquarters are located, to a small Kansas town. (in)courage has been so supportive to allow me to move; I’m blessed to have a job that allows me to work from home and keep in touch at a distance.
When I moved down to Arkansas, I didn’t know anyone and I think that has made the group of people I met there that much more meaningful. These friends that I had dinner with every night, spent weekends with, and went to church with, had become my family. After three years of living there I had built relationships and a community.
The decision I made to move was exciting and good. My boyfriend and I had never lived closer than 3 hours apart and it was time for us to figure things out. And it’s been wonderful. I love finally being able to spend time in the evenings together, not driving 3+ hours every other weekend and trying to cram as much into two days as we possibly can. We are finally able to see each other in daily life. I’ve learned as much about him in the last four months as I had in the last 3 years.
My heart has been in two states for the last few years; Arkansas and Kansas. The deep connections I’ve built are friends that are lasting. It has been important for me to remember this. The distance of the move has changed things, but we still belong to each other. Physical distance and relational distance are not the same. And these “old friendships” have helped me build new friendships in Kansas. They have reminded me that I am not starting over, that I am still living with their love and support, and they with mine. Derek and I have met wonderful people and I am excited about the life that is happening here.
Distance will always change community, but doesn’t end it.
I’m slowly learning how to do this, and to be more intentional with those whom I’m not always around. Reminders of one another are important – which is why I’m excited about the (in)RL product we’ve created is centered around community. The postcard set and print are the perfect small reminders for everyday.
I know community is valuable to you, too. I read about it everyday here from you and know that you are not always physically with your community. A simple way to say “I’m still here, with you” no matter the distance, is powerful. Notes of any size are sometimes all that we need to maintain those connections. And I love that the (in)RL conference will connect us all, because this community is also stretched out. We are living a long-distance community every day here in this space, too.
I’m looking forward to hearing more of your stories during (in)RL. I know you have wisdom and deep experience in community that will touch so many others, including me.
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