To the ones who promised me Capstone would change my life, thank you.
To the ones who gave me so many enveloping hugs and told me how much they missed me, thank you.
To the ones who stayed up until 2 AM dissecting life and love and God and pain with me, thank you.
To the ones who saved me a seat at the breakfast table, sat with me extra-long at the lunch table, and cleared my tray at the dinner table, thank you.
To the ones that hiked mountains with me, gave me ibuprofen for altitude sickness, recommended the best places to eat at the airports, listened to my incessant questions, ramblings, and laughed at my silly, sleep-deprived sense of humor, thank you.
To the ones that encouraged me in sharing my story, in communicating, and public speaking, I’m overwhelmed, so thank you.
For making me feel immensely loved, I say thank you. For adopting me as family, thank you. For being vulnerable, for crying with me, for praying, for laughing, for listening—thank you.
This week was a week of immense pain and overwhelming joy, the combination of which both drained and refreshed me. Three hours of sleep each night, deep discussions every hour, classes that made me think about anything and everything in my life, and long, heavy sessions of honesty will do that, I think.
When I was told Capstone is life-changing, I totally signed up—and then sat back and said, “Okay, go ahead. Change my life.” And in numerous ways, from being flooded with love and invested in, to being given opportunities to invest in friends and strangers alike, I left different than when I came. Professors, staff, and students poured into me, were vulnerable, and I saw the glory of God displayed in so many lives.
I’m so grateful.
Capstone 2018 will forever be the last trip I took as a minor, the trip where I had Jamba Juice and Panda Express for the first time, where I spent more than two hours in a time zone not my own, and the first time I actually hiked up an actual mountain and was 9,000 feet up in the air with my feet still on the ground.
Growth. Learning. Joy. Sorrow. Friends-turned-family. Sleep deprivation. Raw honesty. Capstone.
This post was originally shared on Facebook just after the close of Capstone. It moved us so much that we requested Amanda’s permission to repost it here.