College Reflections

Ten months ago, I stood on the precipice of an adventure. I took one last picture of our house on my phone before we left—wondering whether anything would change in the weeks I was at school. Or if I would change in my time away. My sweet parents decorated my new dorm room with all the love in their newly empty-nester hearts, stayed to share the first of hundreds of Sodexo catered meals I would come to eat, and prayed me off into the semester.

For someone who loves home as much as I do, I found my weekends in Osakis to be almost more difficult than the ones spent at Bethel, one-hundred miles from my family. Friday afternoon drives from the Cities and Saturday adventures were positively delightful. I lived for these moments. Being with my people, working in the store, and reminiscing with my (also visiting) siblings made me feel like nothing had changed at all. But Sunday morning literally would become Sunday mournings when I remembered that I had to pack my bags again, say goodbye again, and return to school for another set of weeks without seeing my family again. Tears ran hot and fast most Sunday’s when it was time to head back – God bless my gracious drivers who put up with these emotional departures!

But as winter rolled into spring, it became easier to let my Bethel bubble and my Osakis oasis coexist. A parking permit for an on-campus vehicle proved to be the greatest investment of my second semester. Spontaneous trips to Panera Bread, leisurely Target runs without having to catch the shuttle, and simplified travels home brightened my days. Friendships blossomed and grew, new classes encouraged my PR aspirations, and God softened my nervous heart.

A busy 18-credit semester came to a frenzied end on May 21st. I pulled into the Crooked Willow driveway with joy in my heart and peace in my soul. I had since lost the “last” picture I took on that August morning of my house. Like the porch furniture and gentle aging of our home, my major, dreams of playing collegiate tennis, and temporary address were certainly different than when I left. But the collision of new and old could not have mattered less in light of all I had learned about God’s faithfulness. Change is inevitable, but God is unchanging through it all.

Though my Bethel roots are starting to sink deeper, the prospect of three months at home could not be more delightful. Bike rides on the trail, coffee dates with old friends, lemon bars and egg frittatas baked in our own oven, new Karen Kingsbury books, fresh blossoms growing outside, and adventures to be had each day are just a handful of the joys I will be treasuring this summer. Just when one journey ends, another is waiting right around the corner. What blessings to be found in the heart of each day! – Kate

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