I recall during the Spring of my Senior year of high school... 15 years ago.... when Cherokee (the camp director) called those of us up who had given of our high school time to be counselors. He honored us with certificates and all the kids sang to us. I cried. It was the end of something I thoroughly enjoyed.
I found my name tag last week.
Ah the memories.The most vivid memory is of the first time I was a counselor for the Outdoor School Program. There was a boy who was small for his age but really tough. And he knew how to irritate the staff. For some reason, he had a special place in my heart that week. And when the kids were loading up their buses to go home at the end of the week, he ran up to me, gave me a big hug and started crying. "Hershey, I don't want to leave you." Of course I started to cry too.
I got on my bus after that and thought.. if caring this much for people causes this much hurt.. I don't want to do it!
Now that was not the first time in my life of experiences sorrow over leaving or being left but that one memory is still so strong in my mind 19 years after the fact.
There are so many moments of leaving and being left in this life that God has called me to. I believe God desires that we fully engage wherever He has placed us. This means I leave and am left by dear people everywhere I go. My heart is in so many places in the world!
I do not know what is easier.. leaving or being left... I spent many years doing the leaving, then I spent several years being left, and now I am the one doing much of the leaving again.
I think it is hard to be left...the emptiness that remains after you are left is almost unbearable at times. But your life goes on. God brings new people into your life to fill that emptiness... not to replace what was once there.
I think it is hard to leave... the emptiness that remains in your heart from the people, places, events that you leave behind can be gut-wrenching. But life goes on. The pain slowly fades. God provides new people, places and events to fill your life... not to erase or replace what once was.
So in this life of leaving and being left, the one constant is God. And for this I am eternally grateful! I have learned that even though it hurts to say goodbye, I need to fully engage and invest wherever God puts me.
In the middle of the leaving and being left there are comings and new beginnings. These two have been a blessing to me. Sabine and Bettina are German and they are so patient with me and so encouraging as I struggle to learn Deutsch.
Glimpses of God's stunning creations in Kandern!