It’s hard to believe that it’s the end of August already. This evening the weather was gray and dark as I was getting for church and I kind of felt like my mood reflected the weather. Tonight was my first night without my amazing co-teacher… Of course, she hasn’t made it to every Wednesday night over the last three years, so nights without her do happen, but in my heart I knew that after three years, her commitment was finished. I usually show up early to church and I chat with her for about a half hour before we head down to our classroom. There was no reason to get there early tonight, so I just showed up on time. It felt weird. As strange as it might sound, with the summer coming to a close, I’ve found myself in a season of almost mourning. I found myself thinking of all the things I “usually do” and know that in a lot of ways, things won’t be the same. Silly example, every year in September I got clothing shopping for the fall and winter. I stock up on sweaters and long sleeved shirts and this is my routine. I do it pretty much every year. However, there is no shopping for me in the future. It makes no sense right now. Tonight was my last night with my class of girls. Next week, I’ll have new girls. While, I am excited for the new class, I also know that in roughly a month and a half, I’ll be taking some time off and this fall is going to look a lot different than any fall that has come before it. I’ll have new co-teachers and that’s great, but things are changing. My commitment levels are changing, my properties are changing. It’s hard to explain, but I felt a bit sad about it all.
For the last seven years, my life has been on this cycle. It’s a cycle based around children’s ministry and church commitments and the school year calendar. It’s built around the things that we always do and the commitments that roll around at the same time each year. Tonight I was in Fusion (our youth ministry) with my girls for one last visit before they move up and I was contemplating all of these thoughts during worship. I love being able to have a chance to worship on Wednesday nights, even if those nights are rare. As I was thinking, singing, and praying, I realized that while I am a bit sad that things aren’t going to be the same, I can’t imagine that things would stay the same forever. I had the absurd thought of what if all these changes went away. Would I want to keep on doing things the way that I’ve always done them? Does that way of life even still fit? And I have to admit, I found myself realizing that I’m ready. I’m ready for this new season, for a new adventure. I’m ready for a “bend in the road” as Anne of Green Gables would say. As much as I have loved the way things were, I’m ready to go forward. I’m ready for things to be different. After a while you realize the old ways don’t fit and that going back really won’t make things better. It was a shift in my way of thinking. Instead of sniffling over the past, I am ready to embrace the future. It’s hard for me. I’m a bit of a creature of habit and routine. I like knowing what lies ahead. However, all journeys have twists and turns. I don’t want my love for the way things have been to cloud my excitement for all that is going to come. I know that God is good and that God is in these life changes. I’m not going forward alone. So today, I am more ready than not. I have looked back at all the good that is in my past. I will remember these days fondly. Now, I set my eyes on what’s ahead. I am ready for the next big thing. Life is changing and that is good. I am ready.