Leaving – Day 1

I was going to start 25 Days of Peace with a little intro, a little discussion about what peace means, probably a deep theological investigation on all the avenues of the term.

God had another plan.

I’ve hit the last week of my internship, and I am overwhelming thankful for the gift of God’s peace. Two weeks ago, I was a panicked sort of sad about leaving Columbus. It felt like I had spent the whole six months wishing I was home, and now I couldn’t bear to leave. Every hug from Ahbry and Genna, every long dinner chat with Susan, every office lunch, and every pot of coffee I brewed brought up a well of emotion. (Don’t judge – you spend as much time making coffee as I do, you’ll develop an attachment too.) Just thinking about leaving caused high levels of anxiety.

Then I went home.

Thanksgiving break was full and beautiful. I sat in IHOP for six hours drinking endless cups of coffee with my friends. I had Thanksgiving dinner with my closest aunt, one set of grandparents, and my immediate family. I got to play with so many family dogs. I ran errands for my dad and went grocery shopping with Mom. I watched four Marvel movies with my brother. I helped bathe and administer medicine to my beloved dog to help nurse him back to health. I had coffee with my oldest and best friend, catching up on hardly a fraction of everything that has happened since September. My sister and I had chances to reconnect. I had lunch and long talks with my other set of grandparents.

I returned to Columbus full of peace and joy, completely at rest in myself.

I’m still sad about leaving. I’ve cherished the beautiful experience in this complex city. I’m still walking around saying “This is my last (staff meeting, gathering review, pot of coffee, morning drive, etc)”. But I can really enjoy it now! I can love every last moment of my time here because God has granted me peace. I am leaving a beautiful place and incredible people, but I get to return to a place equally as beautiful and people just as incredible!

As I look back on my life, God has been good in this area. I loved high school, but when it came time to leave, I was ready. He orchestrated events that made me eager to move on to the next thing, and made leaving my educational home easier. As I have transitioned away from the church that has been my home for almost my entire life, God has opened doors to make that change easier, and show me how much finding a new community is the best choice. As I look forward to graduation, God has used this internship experience to show me how the relationships I have built will follow me, even when my friends are scattered. Graduation doesn’t mean the end of what I’ve worked to build, it just means a transformation.

Leaving is hard. But God, in his infinite grace and wisdom, has granted me peace.

25 Days of Peace is a cooperative blogging experiment between myself and five other artists, designed to explore the facets of peace, particularly centered around this season intended to experience the peace of Christ. Visit this page to see the other contributions to this journey, and like it to join with us in exploring what peace means.

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