I woke up last night at 2:00 a.m. with two prominent feelings. One being excitement because we finally move today! I am looking forward to embarking on the journey we’ve been discussing for months. It is time to set sail. All is in order (or seems to be); farewells have been exchanged; welcomes are forthcoming and the adventure awaits us.
And the second feeling was that of muscle aches and pains that remind me that I’m 30. My body now feels the effects of scrubbing down our apartment yesterday. And it was sore and didn’t want me to sleep.
So after 45 minutes of tossing and turning, I saw this as an opportunity for my final entry from Philadelphia. What a five years it’s been! As we’ve said good-bye, I’ve been reminded of just how rich it has been … and just how many chapters have been written in these 5 years since September 2004. I am not the same person who arrived with my brother Jonathan and Uncle Billy and Mom to 308 Bethlehem Pike and the basement apartment I would call home for my first semester at Westminster Seminary.
I came as Heather Elizabeth Davis; I leave as Heather Davis Nelson. I arrived very much alone; I leave surrounded by layers of community – seminary, CCEF, New Life Dresher, Cresheim Valley Church, World Harvest Mission, The Counseling Center at Chelten, and Chestnut Hill. From single and alone to married and in love with Seth. From an elementary school Spanish teacher to a pastoral counselor. From a PC user to a lover of Mac/Apple. (Thanks largely to my husband’s influence.)
I will miss this place and these people very very much. There will be future reflections I’m sure. Countless ones. In the rearview mirror, it will become clearest what Philadelphia has meant to me and the way this season and these communities have shaped me.
For now, I bid you farewell, City of Brotherly Love and those we love who dwell within it.