For my last night at junior high, the kids signed one card and the leaders another.
The kids card is amazing. Just so special to have all their names, as corny as it sounds. The card was perfect because it mentioned the memories are easy to take with me.
But the goodbye from the leaders blew me away. Mostly the guys. I expect girls to have emotions but not guys. I mean I know they HAVE them somewhere, but it is locked away somewhere I will never have access to. Alas… Dodger and Luke’s made me cry. Dodger is the biggest jokester ever. I know he is a great and loving friend but I never expected to see that side for myself. Luke is just a natural encourager I’d think by the way it’s written. But I definitely didn’t expect it for me.
I didn’t expect the card. I didn’t expect to grow close to any of these leaders, besides Delaine and Frankie. But I did. And I’m going to miss them all. And I didn’t expect the junior highers to melt my heart. But they did, man oh man did they! I’ll go back to early tonight…
I was “assigned” with a group of high schoolers for caroling which I didn’t think would be a big deal until I sat down in a car with the other college kids and it hit me. Tonight was my last night with the junior high girls. As I said it out loud, my voice cracked. I shocked myself with tears once again but this time in an amazing way. So Callie told me to go to that group, which I did as soon as I got out of the car. And it was so much fun. I really do love those girls, all of them. I found that we cannot “love on” people, we have to love them. There’s a huge difference. I’ve tried to love on kids before and got fed up. I took it as a religious responsibility. But love is a blessing. Love is an amazing blessing. How is it that God’s greatest commandments, requirements, are simply beautiful blessings? To love. That is nuts!
I’ve always been ready to move on. I thought a semester at home would drive me insane. But I don’t want to leave. I will and I will love my time with YWAM. But this semester will never be forgotten. I’m not ready for an end.
I didn’t expect healing. I didn’t expect to form real and fun friendships with Brittany, Dodger, Luke or Nathan. Or the girls in my group. Or people outside junior high either. I didn’t expect any of this. God is so, so much better than we can ever give Him credit for. We can never overestimate our God.
Love is such a funny term. We use it in a variety of ways. I was shown real love by God first through Corey, who I also got to spend time with this semester. Then straight from the Source as I opened myself to His calling. Then others. Then this summer/semester I started loving myself. It isn’t just feeling good- it is taking action. Therapy. Doctors appointments. Weight training. Trying hard in school. Getting sleep. And then, blessed be God, my heart could open to love. It takes a lot of preparation to truly love. I thought I knew love but I don’t think I really got it until recently.
They are right when you say you have to love yourself first. But no one explained it was actions. And if I knew the benefits to loving, I would have down all this sooner. But I am even more thankful for God’s perfect timing.
I’m thankful for all of them. I’m thankful for this semester. I’m thankful for Thursday lunches with Karen and Tuesday afternoons with Amy. I’m thankful for Delaine finding time for me. I’m thankful for Corey continuing to amaze me. I’m thankful for Stuart and his hard work all over the board- he has become the pastor I talk to the most now! I’m thankful for everyone. I gotta stop now before I get too gushy but I think it is too late…
Oh Vista. You will always be home, no matter where my home is.