you are my breath of fresh air.

I’m sitting a coffee shop across from a friend, papers scattered across the table and a latte with almond milk in hand. Worship music blaring in my ears and the rain is pattering on the window beside me.

I had a conversation with somebody not that long ago about making a place your home. How when you are there and not sure how long you will be there, it is hard to settle down. To allow yourself to feel because you know you have to say goodbye.

Goodbyes are hard for me.

Over time, I have begun to realize how much I need people in my life, even though I know that I will have to say goodbye. How much richer my life is because I get to know and pour into my friends the way they pour into me.

I remember starting at Redeemer, desperate for friends. I remember introducing myself to people in a class, but the conversations would die after how are you.

I remember that desperate prayer I whispered walking back to my dorm. I remember the way the wind took the words straight up to heaven. “God, I need friends. I don’t need many, but father I’m desperate”

I remember when friends started coming into my life and the joy that they brought with them.

I want to make Redeemer my 2nd home for the next three years of my life. I want to make Hamilton a place where I am comfortable.

I know that I am slowly falling in love with this city. The people and all the cool buildings. The coffee shops help with this too.

There is something about friends who giggle with you till 2am. Who give hugs and pray for you. Who continually encourage you. Your life is richer because you know them. Who teach you how to dance. They are popcorn lovers. Sandal in snow wearers. They are extroverted and introverted. They smile with the love of Christ inside them. They are joy bringers. They are encouragers. They are granola addicts and the knock on the door every morning to tell me to have a good day. They are surprise party planners and donut burners. They are the breath of fresh air in my life. They are the “I’ll be back in 5 minutes but actually 2 hours” and kitchen dancers. They are full of life chats and excitement for what’s next. They are selfless lovers. They are the “i’ll be right there and take you to emerge at 3am and sit with you for hours. They are there when you need them most. They are love. Joy. Grace. They are treasures.

Boy oh boy did God ever bless me.

Hamilton, I love you. Thank for the sweet memories. The treasures and the coffee shops.

Thank you for allowing me to have a 2nd home here.

There is so much to be thankful for.

Joy soaked hugs + God’s richest blessings over your life,

Nat