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I’m leaving, but He is staying

I don’t know what I’m doing next, but I am leaving my plans behind.

The only expectation I had for this semester was: *crickets* I stopped having expectations of what was going to happen a while ago. I only ended up disappointed because my plans didn’t succeed. This semester has been…well…it’s been something.

Less than three months ago, I got the phone call that shattered my world.

My Pawpaw, a man who helped to raise me and taught me the value of hard work, passed away during the first week of classes. I did not see that one coming at all – never did. His lively eyes and boisterous laughter never showed weakness or pain. He was my strong man. I still haven’t even begun to comprehend why he had to go. I’ve been home two times since his funeral and each time I have parked behind his old truck and I have walked into our garage turned man cave expecting to smell some incense. I walk up the steps and open our back door. I go into the living room and kiss my Nana in her recliner. I want to see my Pawpaw sitting in his rightful spot on the red leather couch.

But I don’t. It hits me like a ton of bricks every time. He’s really gone. 

With the semester off to rough start, I was not sure what else was going to happen. And to be quite honest, I didn’t care. Somehow I was still barely clinging to the truth I learned after a hard summer at camp. In the back of my mind, these words from the book of Joshua were there:

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)

September and October were full of 8am classes, lots of assignments, and anxiety. September was a blur. October also held the sweet surprise of seeing 3 of my long-distance friends who have prayed with me and over me. The Lord has also been gracious in the community He has given me within Boone. Even though I have been running around like a chicken without a head this semester, those friends have greeted me with a hug and a sincere “how are you doing?” (Side note: find friends who will know when you aren’t really fine.)

Somehow I managed to stumble into November and it’s already halfway over. I’ve been going to my internship full time this month and I’ve already completed teaching the lessons I spend the first half of the semester planning. I even got to watch them apply what I taught them! My teacher heart was beaming with pride.

Today was not my last day in first grade. I still have until November 30th. But one of my students told me they wanted me to stay forever today and my heart broke into a million pieces knowing I can’t. If the Lord has taught me anything (and He has) this year, it is about what His will is for my life. The Lord wants me to love others sacrificially without expecting anything in return; just like my Pawpaw.

Through it all, Jesus has never left my side. He has remained constant in the chaos that is my life. He is never leaving me, but I am realizing that I have some leaving to do…

I’m leaving behind pieces of my heart to 21 faces who have warmed my heart like no other. I’m leaving my burdens at the foot of the cross. I’m leaving my grief over my Pawpaw in His hands. I’m leaving the possibility of restoration up to the King of redemption.

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