Okay, I feel like Emmy Jo and I have kind of cheated the system. And by kind of; we totally have.
For those of you who don’t know, teachers have it ROUGH. They deal with a lot. They get under-paid. They deal with kids all day who complain, cheat, steal, pick boogers, forget their homework, pee their pants and the list goes on. They get up at the butt crack of dawn. However, there is one glorious thing that they get to look forward to:
Because of the high volume of volunteers being college kids who are gone for the summer, my ministry takes a time-out as well during this time. So that only means one thing for me as well:
Needless to say, Emmy Jo and I have taken full advantage of this time. It has been glorious to say the least. Now I write this post not to brag or boast, but seriously…. my summer was better than yours.
We have spent the past 8+ months living on completely different schedules. When she gets home from work, I go back to work. When she leaves for work, I am still asleep. When she wants to go visit friends in Dallas, I have an event planned. Our time to truly get to enjoy one another is near and far between. First semester, after looking back we didn’t do a great job of fighting for that time. Second semester was definitely better, but still was tough. So summer time, we are soaking up every minute we get.
And it has been incredible.
We started off traveling to California for a week to be a part of my little sisters graduation. This was also probably one of the last times I will be in the town where I grew up in. My parents have moved to Austin, TX (yes!). But what that means is, the house where I spent 2nd grade until now in will not be a part of our family memories anymore.
Honestly, I didn’t think going home would have been a big deal. The worst thing I thought was going to be not being able to eat at our local deli that literally has a sandwich named after my little brother we went there so much. But I caught myself being incredibly nostalgic all week long. For someone who loves change and new places and people, this was harder than I thought….
1. There are people in Moraga, CA that played a huge part in my maturity and becoming the man that I am still growing to be. I realized after having breakfast with a mentor of mine that I will miss his voice and place in my life immensely. Walking away from that breakfast was hard.
2. There is a family with 3 little kids that the Holy Spirit has created in my heart for. Recent struggles and broken relationships within the family has broken my heart because I know these 3 little girls are hurting. I feel like I am running out on them…
3. There are relationships that I feel like I jacked up. I either “burnt bridges” because of different paths in life, or just lost contact out of neglect or laziness. And that might be the hardest one to swallow. I went many years without telling these people the good news of the Gospel, or even just that I truly appreciate them.
When will I go back there? How will I know the next time I will get to have a conversation or be able to sit down with these people again in my life. After three or four days of these questions filling my head, I realized these things:
1. Those people that played a huge role in my life I am extremely grateful for. But I have an incredible new community of people that love and pour in to me. With new places, new people come in to our lives. God was faithful.
2. I was given a letter from this family encouraging me and how grateful they were for the time we spent together. They said it could not have come at a more important time in their lives. I was shown that I served a specific purpose, and was used for good! God is in control.
3. Yes, I have made mistakes in how I have handled relationships, hardships, and struggles with people in the past. But, looking at that in guilt in shame is not seeing that those sins were bought with blood long ago. Jesus sustains.
This summer has been such a blessing. Yes, because the travel. And yes, because I got priceless time with my wife. But most of all, because I was given more glimpses of the Truth preached in Romans 8:28:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”