I used to live in the future. When I was a little kid, I wanted to go where my big sisters went. My parents were very strict about the kinds of activities we participated in… unless (we figured out) the activity or event was at school or church. It wasnt very long before my older sisters were involved in the school choir, the church youth group, cheerleading, and anything else that could get them permission to get.out.of.the.house! So as a 5th grader, I desperately looked forward to junior high and high school.
In junior high, I wanted to be in college. I kid you not- as an 8th grader, I paid a visit to our local state university. I eagerly asked questions about campus life, scholarships, and degree plans. After all, I would be in college in ‘just’ four more years, so I needed to know all about this stuff.
Of course, in college, I just wanted to graduate. When I was single – for what felt like forever… I just wanted to get married.
Fortunately, some time after my many failed attempts to marry myself off, I began to learn about living each day exactly where God has you in that moment. This lesson is certainly still in progress, but it has already made a tremendous impact on me. More on all that another day. And then, God did bring me to my vocation. I was finally exactly where I always really wanted to be. A wife. A mother. And as quickly as the days go by, I strive to just really be present every day so I don’t look back and wonder where my little babies went.
In any case, since November of last year, I have known that our lives would be changing in a big way. In May, we officially received our assignment to serve at the University of South Dakota. So for months and months and months, we have been in transition, preparing to begin this exciting missionary work that God has called us to.
Yet, it has been really important to me that we continue to live here in CO as long as … well, as long as we live here in CO. I dont want to check out early. I dont want to miss any precious time here with our family and friends. This community has been a tremendous blessing to us, and darn it, I want every ounce of blessing God wants to give us here.
But still the time does come when it is time to say goodbye. After almost a year of getting ready, moving away is not something that is happening in the future. It’s happening now. I have declared a week with no dish duty and brought on the paper plates and plasticware. My cupboards are bare.Rooms are overflowing with boxes. We all have about 4 options on what to wear this week because our wardrobes are otherwise packed. Our house is a crazy mess… even more so than usual, that is!
AND. This weekend we said goodbyes. Our dear pastor Fr. Daniel gaves us a special blessing for missionaries. Our friends at the parish gave us a farewell potluck party. We topped off the weekend at the annual parish picnic – which was just too too fun. (Have you ever stayed at a parish picnic for 4 hours?! Those Peruvians know how to throw a party!)
Then it was time to leave the party… I was really doing fine. Really. I’m excited for this adventure. But then I had to say the actual real goodbyes and it was all over. Tears streamed down my face and my eyeliner went right along with it. We tried to dab tissues on the mess but it may have actually made it worse. ** Sigh **
It is very hard to say goodbye. … But it is very very good to love people so much and to have people love you back.
The following words from a friend were a consolation, and a reminder to allow nothing to steal away my peace. I hope they are good for any of you who are experiencing changes in your life.
“Be at Peace: Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;
Rather look to them with full hope as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things;
And when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms. Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you today and everyday.
He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”
~ St. Francis de Sales