Dear Colorado Springs Village of Awesome,
I cannot, and do not, thank you enough for your unwavering support over the years. As of April 2015, I have lived here for 10 years, and my roots go deep into this community, even though I miss my home state of Oregon. For all of that time, God has never failed to provide a beautiful village of people who have loved, supported, helped, encouraged, and strengthened me in my work as a birth professional.
You have taken on a hard thing: Being friends and family to a constantly on-call birth professional. I don’t have any blood family here in the Springs, and I am used to creating a family around me. What amazes me is that so many of you have made me a part of your family too. That is something rare and precious.
You are each one of you a gift.
You have given my children love and care when I had to be away for births. You have opened your homes countless times, at all hours, to be a safe haven for them when my husband worked odd shifts, and I was out working. You have treated them with the same respect and dignity with which you treat your own children, and they feel secure and happy when they are with you. Therefore, so do I.
You have fed my family, quite literally, and refused to let me try to pay you back. There is nothing more welcome than a good meal, except maybe a good nap, which I also receive because of your practical generosity.
You have put up with the forgetfulness that often comes with lack of sleep and not knowing what day it is. When I forget, again, you are quick to forgive. Your grace mirrors that of God: Unconditional and eternal. I don’t know how you do it, but I am so grateful for it.
You initiate coffee and play dates, knowing that I often don’t, not because I don’t long for it, but because I am preoccupied trying to stay afloat in my daily tasks. You help me to slow down and taste the joy of basic fellowship, especially in moments when I need it most and do not know it.
You ask me how I am doing, and actually care to know. You listen to me cry, rejoice, or even soapbox over issues that are not nearly as important to you as they are to me. There are times when I can barely hold it together, and you kindly overlook my bumbling attempts at normal conversation. There are times when I can’t stop talking because that’s how I process things. You listen, and listen, and listen, and listen. I don’t know how your ears haven’t fallen off.
Most of all, you tell me what I need to hear, rather than what I want to hear. You are honest, and you tell me when you are struggling. You do not pretend to be okay when you are not. You confront, exhort, challenge, and sharpen me like sisters. You are not afraid to tell me when I’m wrong. You keep me humble. I need that.
You never give up on me.
And I do not take it lightly.
I literally could not do this work without you. And I would not blame you if you had to walk away and rest for awhile.
I chose my village carefully and well. Better yet, my village chose me too.
You are amazing.
Kim, Sabrina, Tiffany, Geri, Julia, Erica, Diane, Lynnette, and others. The network of support is astounding. I can’t believe I have it so good! And if I neglected to mention a name, it’s only because I’m running on very little sleep — and I can only hope you just laugh at my ineptitude, and forgive me yet again.
Grace & Peace,