For two years, I’ve known this has been coming – the end (even though technically there are three months left).
In February 2011 I started an apprenticeship designed to train me in paid ministry and equip me for a life of serving God. The first six months were absolutely exhausting, meeting literally a hundred people and getting to know them, remembering things about them, caring for them, teaching them.
Now, I feel like I’ve only really just started scratching the surface with those relationships. We’ve developed a trust with each other and appreciated the things we’ve learnt, not just from teaching the bible, but from the way we’ve shared our lives as well. Two years is just enough to get to know someone, and then it’s over.
I expected that I would be an emotional mess at this point (especially having a few major life changes like getting married and moving out of home for the first time). Perhaps that will hit me later, but maybe knowing and expecting goodbyes has helped me to deal with them. It’s already started, with leading my final growth groups, the last training group on Monday night, even the staff weekend where Dan, Beth and I were farewelled and the new staff were welcomed.
There are people I know I will likely never see again, some who I will bump into from time to time (because Christian circles are quite small, and because this is not my final involvement at ECU), and some who I will be able to make the effort to catch up with sporadically in the future, as I have done with the staff I met with as a student.
I’ve really loved meeting with the girls I have had the privilege of leading. And they appreciated me too, and gave me lovely messages and gifts to send me off: