I remember when I first met you. You were a friend of Kelsey’s and you were willing to give up a week to help her as she led a mission trip with students. You were beautiful with kind eyes and an inviting smile. Since that time I have come to know you in a very different way and today I have the joy of declaring that you are my beautiful friend with the kind eyes, the inviting smile and the intentional heart. I have mixed emotions about you moving “upstairs”. While you are gifted and called by God, which is just understating the obvious, I am selfish and I want you to stay down here in this space.
One thing I have learned over the years is that although it is difficult to embrace, change is something with which I must learn, on an ongoing basis, to live. Because you are not really leaving, this is sort of the farewell where nothing really needs to be said, in part because our adventures don’t have to end. And that is a good thing. At the same time, nothing will be quite the same, so it is tinged with a kind of sadness. Of course no one wants their group of friends and colleagues to be exactly the same over a course of years, but a selfish part of every person wants it all to be repeated out of nostalgia, kind of like putting it all into a little jewelry box that when opened up has the familiarity of the ballerina spinning just the way it was when you last opened the lid.
I guess the main reason saying goodbye is difficult is because life will never be the same since we are closing the door on your HSM chapter, thus committing it to memory. It will no longer be an organic, living thing. I think goodbyes are a certain brush with mortality. It is like time running out and so we must make the most of every conversation, every encounter since it might be the last. I like to live my life imagining that my next reunions are just around the corner and that, though a chapter might close, the stories will never come to an end!
Christina,when I was younger I had mentors who were all older than me and spoke into my life, modeling grace and holiness, displaying redemption and joy. I guess I always pictured mentors as older because the Bible offers the mandate to older believers. And even though I do believe that wisdom comes with age (sometimes),as I am growing older and after years of ministry with young people, I think young people can be very wise (1 Tim. 4:12). In other words, generally there isa connection between age and wisdom, but not necessarily! I bring it up to you because you are younger(duh)and you are one of my mentors. I want to be like you “when I grow up”. I am in awe of your intentionality, the depth of your faith and the way you lead others by your words and your character to live lives of holiness and integrity.
Thank you for habitually pointing to Jesus. Thank you for being a joyful way of knowingHim better. May God bless you all the days of your life and “may your tribe increase”.
Jim learned to play the guitar on this Broadway Harmony. I am passing it on to you because,like him, you have led me into the Throne room in creative and lovely ways. I am grateful. With love, Miriam
PS See you Upstairs!