To my new brothers and sisters.

For as long as I can remember, I have longed to have brothers and sisters.  Being an only child has its perks, but never once have I thought it was worth the sacrifice of siblings.  This summer, I took an internship at the Orchard, a church in Tupelo, Mississippi.  I could not begin to fathom what to expect at the beginning of the summer.  I knew I was going where God wanted me to go, but He did not give me any further insight. 

Two and a half months later, I stand amazed and baffled by all the blessings this summer has brought.  I have met countless people who have impacted my life in ways they will never fully know and had countless experiences that can never be replaced.

But above all, I have a family at the Orchard.  Last night, all the interns gathered to share one final meal together before we head back to school for the Fall semester.  While we were all sitting around talking and hanging out, it hit  me.  We are a family.  We are not just 13 college kids forced to spend time together because it is part of our job description.  We are a family.  I am not sure when it happened, when we went from a group of strangers to people who I consider my brothers and sisters, but it did.  Somewhere the shift was made. 

The crazy thing is that our family is a lot larger than just the 13 of us brought in for the summer.  The entire community at the Orchard is one big family.  From the staff, to the congregation, to the student ministry, everyone is family. 

As I sit back and reflect on the summer as a whole, words cannot describe how blessed I am to know the people who I now call family.  When I first accepted this internship, I had no idea what God was up to.  Now I have a pretty clear picture. 

This only child is leaving Tupelo with more brothers and sisters than she ever could have imagined.  To the staff, my co-interns, my youth group and everyone else I have met while here, thank you for grafting me into your family.  I am blessed to call you my brothers and sisters.