Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Don't Like Good-byes

This month that was to be our vacation before starting internship has managed to be one of stress and loss. Saying good-bye to those we love is painful and difficult whether they be beloved friends, family, pets, or places.

We leave for internship Tues., Aug. 3. Within the last month we have moved, saying good-by to our apartment of the last two years.

Many friends have moved on to their calls, CPE, or their internship sites. We are the last to leave campus for internship. It's getting a bit lonely, yet at the same time seniors are returning from their year of internship.

A little over two weeks ago, we said good-bye to our beloved Abby, Ray's retired Seeing Eye dog who was 13 years and 9 months old. Her arthritis pain is now a thing of the past and yet we miss her. We were doing pretty well until today.

First of all, our cat, Pokey, cannot come with us on internship. Thankfully, we have made some wonderful friends here at seminary. Among those friends is Denise. As soon as she heard Pokey couldn't join us in WV, she offered to take him for the year, like a "foreign exchange student." That was a relief to us, knowing he would be in good hands. He will also have companions: Sammy the dog and Percy the cat. The last couple of days Pokey has been especially lovey, so it was hard to part with him.

Last night we and some other friends had dinner at Denise's and brought over Pokey and all his things. I was sad, but managing until I got home and read the mail which included a sympathy card from our vet's office. It showed the back of a black lab facing the mountains. Where Abby is buried here on campus, she is facing the hills. We couldn't keep the tears back.
So, there are a few layers of loss this month: friends, pets, places. And yet as we mourn the losses, we look forward to August. The 2nd is our wedding anniversary (7 years!). Beginning Aug. 3 we move to Petersburg, WV for a year's internship. There will be new friends and experiences and challenges--and growth in grace.

Transition seems to describe what this month has been about. God gives us the grace so that loss and pain become opportunities to grow in God's grace.

A new phase of our life begins in less than a week that is part of the process of making us more able to service Christ and his church. It is time to get the show on the road and begin this part of my education. We are grateful for God bringing this all together and are anxious to make the move to WV and from loss to gain in Christ. We have been blessed with so very much.

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