It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. -Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
I think April/May/the end of the school year always has this bittersweet feeling. I mean, I'm excited that it's summer. This will most likely be the last time I ever have a "summer", because after December I'll have to be a big girl and get a big girl job. But, this time of year always reminds me of how old I'm getting. It's a time of goodbyes. I mean, graduation is coming up. Like every year, the time will come to say goodbye. It just seems so weird that I'm old enough to be friends with people that are graduating from college and going into the real world (and that I'm going to be doing the same in December). I mean, friends and acquaintances are starting to get married, have babies, start families...this is so foreign. I really don't feel like I'm that old. I've grown a lot in the last four years of college, and I may talk about wanting all that, but I'm nowhere near ready for that. I can hold a conversation about "Oh, your baby is so cute. You're such a great mommy!", but...nope. That's just weird. The idea of moving out of my parents' house into my own place? That just seems lonely. I mean, no way am I old enough. No way.
Then, I look on Facebook today and I come across a picture of one of my sweet Middle School girls from last summer. She was one of the 6th graders in my small group that I led a few years back. She's going to be a Freshman next year. When did my "babies" get old enough to go to high school? My Sunday School kids that I started teaching in 2nd grade are about to finish 4th grade. THREE YEARS. They've gone from barely being able to navigate the Bible to having full out theological discussions. They love Bible drills. And I'm having to say goodbye to them in three weeks when I leave to do my internship this summer. I mean, they've had a semester without me. But, this Fall, I may not be their teacher. My "big girl" job next Spring might interfere with that whole Sunday School teacher gig. They're getting older...and I'm getting older. I was working on a paper this afternoon and Mark Schultz's "Remember Me" came on my iTunes. When it gets to the third verse, I always tear up because I think of my kids. I hear, "Remember me...When the children leave their Sunday school with smiles.Remember me...When they're old enough to teach, Old enough to preach, Old enough to leave" and I think about my kids. What's going to happen as they grow older? Are they still going to have that same passion and zeal for the gospel? Or are they (like many teenagers and young adults in the church) going to leave the faith? When did my babies get old enough to go to Middle School? When did they get old enough to join the youth group? When did I get old enough that I have to face the fact that if I'm employed at a church, I probably can't teach Sunday School to my kids at a different church? #biggirljobproblems
When did I get almost grown? When did I get this OLD? 22 is quickly approaching this summer, and that scares me. "Graduation" in December. Big girl job come soon after, hopefully. There's a lot of faith, trust, and praying going on around here.
Oh memories. Three years ago I started this little blog. I never dreamed that it would be this big a part of my life. I remember the end of my Freshman year of college (that was at College #1) sitting on my computer blogging. This little place has taught me so much. I've made so many friends. We've "grown up" these last few years together. I'm looking forward and dreaming big about the adventures to come. This is such a happy/sad time. There is so much joy in adventure and so much sadness in goodbyes. But, I know in the end, it will be worth it. Sometimes people come into our lives for just a short period of time. We have a limited amount of time to impact their lives and learn from them. One thing I regretted about high school was that I never really stepped out to try and make a difference. I hid in the background. But, I feel like I've done things differently in college. I've been more adventurous. I've done things that I never thought I would (such as having an all-night tailgate camp-out, going to Chicago, interning at my church, wearing the same dress for 40 days). I've worked hard at building relationships with others. Even though I'm not an extrovert, I'm working on not being so introverted. Laugh all you want, but I ate lunch at the Dining Hall today! I'm realizing that I'm growing up. And maybe that's not so bad after all.