A Bittersweet Goodbye

Almost a decade ago we came to Kansas City with a bundle of newborn baby Grey and a Penske truck full of stuff.  We came full of grief and hope mixed in:  hearts broken over the loss that was leaving Florida and yet overflowing with gratitude and faith in God's faithfulness to our young family.

I remember that first spring, my first spring here in Kansas City. I remember Rebekah's magnolia in full bloom outside the 3rd floor window at Concord. I knew that morning that I was going to be alright here, in this new place.

Fast forward a few months and we found ourselves wrapped up in love with a new church family.  A benefit of those new church connections was finding out about Hillcrest Transitional Housing.  I remember sitting at my friend AJ's kitchen table, while she whipped up cream for pie after church one summer Sunday.  We came to talk about Hillcrest and their plans to move on and our potential plans to move in (to her same kitchen!).  We sought employment here and then...

Fast forward a very full nine years, and here we are again packing up our stuff with grief and hope mixed in.  No Penske this time, just the Van Duyns (ha!).  Our "ox is in the ditch" as my dear friend Katie likes to say--these days are full of a lot of work to get us moving on, yet God is faithful.  He has been so good to us every detail.

The days (and nights) were long here at Hillcrest, but good were the years.  Not one moment is or ever will be lost on me.  I forget some names and remember others, but each family that we had the privilege of neighboring here has left an indelible mark on my heart.

We cherish this almost-a-decade. All tucked away in private memories and remembering the blessed day-to-day duties.  Every individual, every need, every child, every late night or snow fall, and all the time spent here as a family, we will remember and we will cherish.  

So... this is the eve of the eve of our last day in this special place.  As I type my tears remind me of how real it was.  How deep and real it all was.  There is always a kind of bitterness of leaving something so good behind that you can't quite reason with.  You just have to rest in it.  Lean in.  Move on.

 I raise my glass to my husband who is quite literally building a legacy for us in that dear house on Bannister.  And I raise my glass to my colleagues, friends, and neighbors left here, doing this good work, on Mission Road.  

May the peace of Christ be with us all. Amen.


  1. Hillcrest has been so abundantly blessed to have you there! In fact, I think our biggest contribution to the ministry was paving the way for you to take our place. Truly! I'm so excited for the next leg of your journey!

    1. Thank you AJ! We are so grateful to God for His provision in our friendship to your family. His timing is always good!


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