one of the most difficult parts for missioner life is the saying goodbye part. that, hands down, is one of the most difficult parts for me. goodbyes are never easy – i suppose, ok, for some people, it may be easy for them. for me, no, it’s the opposite.
it has the effect of twisting my heart in knots and causes me to lose control of my breathing. yes, it is that emotional. it’s happened! perhaps not as dramatic as it sounds, but my stomach, heart, and mind get all tousled around when the “last” moments happen…realizing it’s the last time i will see some of the people that i have grown close to, and now after living here in my two years? saying goodbye to the country that has held my heart since i first deeply discovered it seven years ago? leaving the country that i have fallen in love with since 2005? yeah, that’s tough.
but you know, thank God that He gave me the gift of experiencing life here for two years – to live with the people, learn more about this beautiful culture, and meet this Philippine family that i would otherwise have only learned about online or in print.
my life as a missioner is a beautiful one – such a gift. while not everyone may understand what my role entails with me currently serving as a missioner in baguio city, basically in a nutshell, i have the awesome opportunity of growing in relationship with people in the communities, lead catechism, listen to stories, share my stories, love, learn, and share the love of Christ everyday. while i may not be the best at it, and some days are better/easier than others, i do wake up everyday with the hope that i will do my best, at least for that day. baby steps. 🙂
the best part of my missioner life is growing in relationship with others. the hardest part of this life, is the saying goodbye to those relationships. i suppose facebook helps make the transition a little bit easier, but i already anticipate the hole that i will feel in my stomach upon boarding the plane and finally stepping ground back in the States, realizing, wow, i am no longer a resident of baguio city. what? it’s gonna be a long two plane rides home.
it’s pretty crazy. i experienced this pain in saying goodbye to my community and to the students i taught as a missioner two years ago at Mother Cabrini High School in New York, NY, and sure enough, God helped me through that transition pretty smoothly. what makes me think He won’t provide this time? while i do hope that i will experience this new transition in life with sincere peace and love, man, it’s gonna hurt too. i know it, but there is something greater to look forward to, and that, i can have faith in.
so, i will be leaving the philippines on july 9th, and the plane is leaving with or without me, but i gotta make sure to be on the plane. i guess i should start packing, and i have already started scheduling my goodbyes. this is all happening way too fast. lots of emotion, lots of surprises, and i am learning how to just go with the flow, trying my best to also stay present. 🙂
God continues to shower me with gifts and grace, moments for closure, and a promise that all will be well. i can’t help but still be surprised by this God of Surprises. wow! He really outdid me this time with the events of the past few months, the past few weeks at that, and i pray for an increase in faith, hope, and love, as i live this life with no 100% guarantees.
the greatest gift? having people walk with me – having support, being loved, and being accepted as i am, to serve in this beautiful city, baguio city! thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
stumbled upon this entry i wrote two years ago, upon leaving my first mission (one year) with the students at mother cabrini high school in new york, NY…http://missionofgrace.blogspot.com/2010/06/look-back-look-forward.html
it’s a beautiful life. here we goooooooo!