In the Hebrew Bible, seven is a number of completion and/or perfection. For example, in the Yahwistic creation narrative of Genesis 1, creation takes place over seven days (6 days of God’s work making something, and 1 day of rest). This week, my last (at least for the foreseeable future) as a resident of Nashville, I’ve thought about the perfection of seven a lot.
You see, I moved to Nashville just about 7 years ago. I had a newly minted Bachelor of Arts degree and was about to start what would become my first masters degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School. I thought I was a grown up then…but I wasn’t. At all. I was barely dipping a toe into the tumultuous waters we call adulthood.
Seven years later, I dare to call myself a grown up. I’ve learned what loss, parenthood, and marriage are like–kind of all at once. The best moments and the worst moments of my life have all taken place here. I’ve experienced exhilarating victories and painful rejections…all lumped together. Death and birth have walked hand in hand.
In Nashville, I made far more friends than I’d ever hadbefore. For the first time, ever, through a conglomeration of university and church communities, I felt like I met my people. I felt known and appreciated– by people who were in no way obligated to love me–in a way I never had by communities before.
When I moved here, I hadn’t met my family. I was dating someone whom I would not ultimately marry. A year later, I met Will, and it was pretty apparent instantly that he and I had something incomparable to any relationship I’d ever had. Just a few years after that, Debbie came along, and then Gabby. They were both born just a moment’s drive away from the library where Will and I met.
I’m leaving Nashville heavily laden with the gifts these seven years have given me. And yet I feel that this chapter of our story here is done. Seven really is the perfect number for me.