Saturday was an up day beginning with helping with the youth breakfast fundraiser the day before sending them off on mission trip and ending with taking dinner to my newly married niece and her husband in their new home. He starts medical school in just a couple of weeks and she will be student teaching in the fall. They are at the beginning of several new adventures.
Sunday, we were back to good byes. It was Gifted and Talented's last day with the worship band he helped start 14 years ago. He chose and sang lead on the last anthem. I cried. At the end of the service, we were presented with a hymnal signed by the folks at our church on the pages of their favorite hymns. I cried. Then the band sang a secretly practiced benediction for us. I cried more. Dogblogger tells it better. I cried when I read what she has written.
We had a joyful, temporary good bye as we waved Manboy off on the youth mission trip. We have been blessed to watch his faith developement thorugh the nursery, children's, and youth ministries since we "brought him home" to this church 17 1/2 years ago. We leave him in their care as he is choosing to finish his senior year with this youth group.
Later, after we were home, G&T told me he had left his guitar pick on the altar. He left a bit of himself, a bit of his heart there as an offering to God in a place where he has given and received so much.
In truth we all leave a bit of our hearts behind when we leave places. I think that's why I've
cried so many different times this week. Leaving the bits of my heart that have become attached to those with whom I work and worship - those I've come to love - and at the same time taking bits of their hearts with me. In some faith traditions, grief is expressed by rending or tearing of one's clothes. An outward sign of this inward rending of our hearts.
Today, I am looking forward; making plans and checking details as I prepare to go to my new church later this week. I go with some grief, and much anticipation. I go strengthened by all I have received and learned in all the places I have left and by all the people I have loved.