At the same time, my heart is incredibly heavy as I leave behind friends and a loving Christian community here in South Carolina. These past ten days in SC have just been awesome - hectic, and filled almost non-stop with visiting people. And that heartwarming, tear-jerking farewell party last Friday. And going flying on Saturday (picutres and details at some point after I settle down). That really awesome DVD that Peter made, with a slideshow of photos of the past couple of years. Memories and hugs shared over so many meals. So many good wishes. Such support and such an outpouring of love. I am beyond overwhelmed.
I spent the evening with the students, and didn't have much of an appetite as we sat around the Nut aftewards ... it finally hit me: I'm leaving. Things will never be the same again. Yes I'll be back to visit. But, it won't be the same.
So now I'm sitting in the living room at Dogwood and Mrs. Dogwood's place ... everything packed up, the last goodbyes said and hugs shared (Matt B and Peter), knowing that eventually this moment would come, that it would suck, and that life would go on.
I've done this before ... when I left Bombay for Pune after college (incredibly tough). When I left for the US (a little less so). When I left Rochester for SC after just one year, but with such deep connections and friendships. The Lord has sent some amazing people across my path, and I am so grateful for all the friendships that have taken root here in South Carolina. Lord willing, they will continue to grow in the years ahead.
So, all y'all SC folk: thank y'all so much, from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget my years here, the many many graces and blessings the Lord has sent my way.
And so, until we meet again,
The LORD bless you and keep you: The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Num 6:24-26, RSV)And, to quote my beloved St. Paul, "At the same time, prepare a guest room for me ... " (Phlm 22, RSV) :-D
I love y'all!
[And really, I hope Ernesto gives the Palmetto State a miss!]