That which we let go
Well, it has begun.
Summer is coming to an end, which isn't always a bad thing since early fall can be the sweet relief that we all need from this blazing heat. But even despite that or the humidity's effect on my hair, the ending of summer - this summer in particularly - brings with it a whole bunch of crazy emotions.
This past week was Salem's (one of the regular DOOR staff) last week. So on Thursday evening, I headed over to the church to join the group for one last outing. Little did I know then how much of a "God thing" this would turn out to be.
I arrived at the church at the very end of the worship service. Afterwords, Austin (our director) gathered us up in the hall and sat with all of us in the MLK space. It was there that she shared with us her story and opened up the time for us to celebrate and affirm Salem and Chris (who is also leaving soon). Typically, I would not be around the church at this time of night. But on Thursday I was.
While fighting back tears the entire time, I couldn't help but be amazed at God and how God richly blesses us with community - even community that doesn't necessarily last for more than just a season.
I still have a few weeks left, but as things slowly shift towards the end, I once again think about how grateful I am that I decided to come here. I specifically remember a moment back in my room in Kansas where I was crying my eyes out because DOOR Chicago suddenly plopped itself down in front of my path and I didn't know why. I didn't want it to be there. After all, I was going to spend an awesome summer with my sister. Why in the world would I opt to go someplace where I would make less money and be forced to awkwardly build relationships, only to let them go again in a few weeks. I had friends and community in Kansas. Why would I leave?
It was my phone "interview" with Austin that changed my entire mindset. It's not like this was a very significant conversation. All I remember was that after I got off the phone I felt at peace with leaving Kansas as doors for DOOR kept flying open in front of me.
My life seems to be in constant transition (ugh), but it's all these little moments - like the group time on Thursday night- that are what hold me tightly. These are the people and relationships who stay with me even after I've learned to let them go.It's in these moments that fill my heart is so full of joy that I feel like I might burst and yet still feeling the emptiness of transitioning at the same time that I am not sure whether or not to cry or laugh. or both.
I had to let go of Kansas to come to Chicago- a place I wasn't too sure about spending a whole summer, (especially at the awkward age of 24). And now the time has come for me to start letting go of Chicago, which has once again become really near to my heart - for another place I am not too crazy about being in - Morton, IL.
It's often really hard to look back at my goodbyes at Bluffton, with Radical Journey and South Africa, with the community in Kansas, and now with Chicago and not feel a little bit heart broken. But I know that I need to keep focusing more on the relationships God blesses us- even if just for a short time - and how those relationships shape, mold, and totally enrich our lives to the fullest capacity of joy.. It's not always easy to rest in that knowledge. But I will try and trust that as I once again learn how to let go of things, remember that God has something great lined up for me - and for all of us here this summer