Wednesday night, my DEAR friend Lynette said she was going to come to the airport with me to say a proper goodbye and that Messy Church could do without her. 'See, Messy Church is happening the Sabbath afternoon I leave - I kinda like the thought that while I'm heading out, life will be continuing on. It's picturesque and desirable to be the center of attention in a goodbye, but somehow I like this just as much: it takes the edge off...
Anyways. Lynette said she was coming with me.
And then the light switched on, and I saw things clearly.
I'm a creature of delayed reactions - 'don't know why - I just am.
When the light went on, a delayed reaction finally happened. 'See, I've been so thrilled about leaving, because I miss home. It hadn't occurred to my heart personally - just in principle - that to be reunited with my former home, I'd have to LEAVE my current one.
Dude, I knew that before, but I just never knew it this way until the last 24 hours.
I'm going to cry like a baby.
It is going to break my heart.
I love it here so much...!!! And I miss home so much!!! This place has become home and it's been the scene of God breaking me out of a longtime cage. God introduced me to a relationship with Him and fresh relationships with other people that were UNLIKE anything I'd known before. At first, everything being so unknown frightened me so much it almost paralyzed me, but eventually it wound up setting me free...
At first, serving was no big deal, because I could get it done and then crash in my room.
Then, serving was an area I started to put my heart into a little more but it was very awkward.
And then, serving sometimes felt like a drag when I finally got comfortable here...
And lately, every sense has been heightened so that nothing feels like a drag at all! It's all beautiful!
I know, and I praise God that the relationships won't end just because I'm leaving, but parting is such sweet sorrow!! Sweet, because it draws out love expressed in newer & deeper ways; in the ways only goodbyes can accomplish. Sorrowful, because - duh! - I won't be able to hug everyone here anymore, talk in person and share experiences and be around as life continues on.
It's true that the heart and soul are so important, but sometimes we minimize the more external realm. I think God created it and gave it to us to inform us through imagery and feeling about the ways of our hearts. "Not cut off" isn't bad, but being "close" is SO MUCH BETTER!! There's got to be a balance of course, and if it's 100% one thing, that thing loses its meaning even if you binge on it in greater amounts. Just like music loses its meaning without silences and changes in dynamic.
Goodbyes were never meant to happen.
"Every time we say goodbye, I die a little ... I wonder why a little." (Ray Charles)
We were meant to live all together. In heaven we will. (Thoughts of heaven are so hard to get your mind turned to, but once you get in the habit, they're comforting and encouraging for the journey)
Goodbyes were never meant to happen. The pain of going away reminds us of that. The fact that goodbyes STILL hurt after all these centuries ALSO reminds us that goodbyes STILL are not meant to be and they WILL be abolished one day, when Jesus comes.
Until then, my heart has a big tear coming up. Luckily, I'm going from one precious environment to another. It's a blessing that my heart will not be torn to go to one more place that's foreign to me. It's like a grace that this heart-tear will be touched by the love of family and friends I had to part from for the last year... But still...
The light switched on. "Uhoh" is an understatement.
Leaving places and people of EVERY age that you love - especially a place where everything in your life changed forever - is just... It's serious and it's going to hurt. It's like heartstrings in every area are going to be seriously yanked. I see it now.
Stanborough Park Church in Watford, England - I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!
I came here to be a student missionary, but God used this place on me and turned the tables... There is no place like Stanborough Park Church, there never will be, and there is a guarded and special place in my heart for ONLY Stanborough Park Church.
Words fail me.