I sat in the lodge, surrounded by boots and jackets and other ski gear. I read and worked on the computer to make the time pass quickly. I people watched. I caught up on facebook and twitter while I waited. Finally, I looked out the window and saw them and smiled. They were back. It had only been two hours, but I’d missed them and was glad they were back with me.
I stood in the back of the room and watched. I watched as 125+ students, leaders, and adults all in green shirts sat and listened to the different people on stage. I watched as a few students and leaders came up on stage and shared what the Lord had taught them over the weekend. I watched as the weekend came to a close. And as I watched, the tears fell freely down my face.
Ski Retreat and DNow. Two big events all within a span of six weeks. Both events that I worked hard on. Both eye-opening experiences for me. Ski Retreat was a time for me to really get to know students that I didn’t know well before. I laughed with them, made memories with them, and enjoyed fellowship with them.
DNow was a different story. I’ve been a part of plenty of DNows, but this was by far the best DNow I’ve ever experienced. Grant and I have had a few really good recap conversations about DNow in the past week. Yesterday we had another one. And I cried through most of it.
I cry when I think about leaving these students this summer. It hurts my heart to know that I won’t get to do life with them for eight weeks over the summer. Summer is a big time in the life of student ministry. Camp. A mission trip. Day trips out of Augusta. Lots of events to hang out with students and invest in them. And I don’t get to experience any of it.
I am really excited about Australia. I know that the Lord has definitely called me there. He has opened these doors for a reason. I’ve had more than one person remind me of that over the past few days. I know He has a plan for me, and I know that I have to take that step of obedience and go. But I really cannot imagine doing life without these students.
I think about how far some of them have come in the past couple of months. They’re starting to get it. They want to know more about Christ and go deeper in their relationship with Him. Students who would have never dreamed of going on a mission trip before are signing up to go to San Blas Islands like it’s no big deal. They are full of life and are excited to see what God is going to do in and through them. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a ministry like this?
At the same time, I have to be willing to let God do something great in and through me as well. As I think about how awesome it would be to stay here this summer just so I could be comfortable and be in a routine where I know everybody and everything, I know God has called me to something different. He’s asked me to take this leap of faith, and I’d be stupid not to join Him on this journey that He has for me and me alone.
I’m grateful that the Lord chose me to get to serve them. I don’t know why my time is shorter than I would like, but I know that He’s doing something bigger than me or them. I love these students, and I love my job.