First of all, Sunday was great! Pastor Stephen (Dallas) inspired me. I really loved the analogy of him planning the Disney trip for his kids, and them not knowing the awesome plans ahead for them. Needed that reminder that God always has good things planned for us, when we can’t see or don’t know what’s coming. It hit me this morning.
Actually, my whole day was pretty emotional. Kids’ class was mostly business as usual, but there was a spirit of love a little more than normal. Some form of togetherness and opening of relationships that isn’t always there.
Jess and I brought Ruby (Ryan and Ness’ oldest daughter) with us to church and she has felt like a daughter to us in the few short weeks we’ve known her. While downstairs, her and Julianna hit it off over the last three weeks, and today Julianna had a little breakdown when it was time to say goodbye. I don’t know why, but there was a moment downstairs today when the community happening really struck me.
Julianna was crying because her friend was leaving and she won’t see her again, for 2 years at the minimum. But the bond they made was powerful to me, and it really made me feel we are doing something right. I often feel like all we do is babysit, and it seems at times like we come, we play with the kids, say hi to parents, and that’s it. But as I talked with the parents today, and watched them all getting to know each other, and Julianna and Ruby’s relationship, and Esther, Sid, and Becky leaving, it was a great moment. A time of community, of people opening up. Although bittersweet, I am proud to have created a space where these little people can be vulnerable and give love. Where they learn to love, both those they relate to and those they don’t.
It was a strange feeling, that we had welcomed the Keating’s into the class as our own family, and they felt comfortable, and they will be missed. At the same time, that we have this great little community downstairs. All I can hope is that the kids feel they are loved and they know God loves them. That throughout their lives they remember the love we show them. With so many kids leaving, I really just hope the love we try to give/teach them each week goes with them.
Just to facilitate the space for that is a joy. I know that what I do isn’t what is important, or that my efforts alone can only have a small effect. But to be a part of the awesome plan that our Father has for us is amazing. Seeing small pieces of redemption, peace, and understanding grow in the kids (and their parents, who often learn more than the kids!) is amazing. I don’t know if or when we will get to Disneyland, but I do have hope that we are on the way!