Royal Flush

Saying goodbye this year has been so hard. I remember this time last year, when the floor was emptying out and we were moving forward. I was so excited to leave the floor and get away from people! The feeling of leaving was easy, quick and painless. I didn’t expect this year to be so hard. I knew leaving this floor as a leader would be different but the real relationships that have formed have surprised me and left me feeling more loved than I ever have. Now, I don’t want to go. Packing up makes me want to cry. Seeing the empty halls and rooms makes my heart drop to my stomach. Hugging goodbye makes me never want to let go.

On one hand, I’m irritated that leaving is so hard this year. Why can’t I just move forward, close this chapter, and continue my life? I’ve always had friends for just a season or two then moved forward, no sadness attached. Forgetting people has been easy for me all my life. We’ll keep in touch a month or two then they turn into the occasional Facebook status or like. I had a routine and it was a good one. No one got in to my heart and no one got hurt. This year though, things changed.

God dealt a new hand of cards, one I wasn’t ready for. It looked miserable with depression and anxiety but it turned out to be the greatest hand I’ve ever been dealt. Just because it didn’t score me many physical points, it won me hearts of friends I love and relationships that are deeper than any I’ve ever had. This hand included love and with love comes pain. The pain of saying goodbye has never been something I’ve dealt with except for the occasional death in the family, but this is different. How do I explain this difference? I have no idea. The only thing I know right now is the pain in my heart that is overwhelming. I’m so sad to be leaving this floor and I wish I could stay here with my family of women. Can I stay their leader just one more year? Can we stay on the floor and continue to have late nights, laughter, inside jokes and goofy pictures? Can we please not say goodbye? With depression and anxiety comes feelings that are stronger than normal. They fluctuate and go crazy! I guess when you pray to God to be used for His kingdom and have a heart of love, He says yes in a huge way.

I never thought I would say those things out loud but here I am, heart on my sleeve, completely captivated in love by the women on this floor. My second year of college has been the best one so far and it pains me to the core that it’s ending. This chapter is closing but I don’t want it to. I want it to keep going. I want to keep writing in sentences of joy and love.

I wish, dear reader, that I could communicate the feeling I have right now. I wish I could take your hand, place it on my heart and let you feel the love I feel right now. It’s mixed with pain, joy and excitement for the relationships to continue building. Being intentional has never been a strong suit of mine and I pray desperately that God will help me. Oh, Lord, please please please help me. I finally met people I think are worth staying in relationship with for a life time. I don’t want this chapter to close, I want to keep building and writing. I can’t even think of anything creative or exciting to say. Can we just sit and pretend we’re not moving out tonight?

I can’t take down these decorations. I can’t take the pictures off my wall. I can’t pack away the notes and letters I’ve collected this year. I can’t pack away this chapter without tears lingering in my eyes. I know this floor will be in great hands next year as I pass on this room, this space, this floor to the next leader in my place. She is an angel and I am so excited to watch her ministry as well as be her friend. God give me strength to be intentional! And please God, let them love me too.

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