Last month I got a VERY exciting birthday package… a box from my old roommates. Included was this beautiful quilt, with squares made by my friends and neighbors at our going-away-party in September and then assembled this fall by Nora. What a priceless gift.
Needless to say, seeing the quilt stirred up a variety of emotions.
I smiled over the memories and well wishes. (Here are just a few close ups.)
But I was also sad. There was a long time where I planned on never leaving Sandtown. In a flash, my whole life changed last year and I find myself in a place I never imagined I’d be, pursuing a new calling with Sung. But I wanted to cry as these faces all came to mind.
Then I read the square decorated by my good friend, ten-year-old Kendra of Stricker Street.
If you can’t make out the words they say, “We’ll always miss you. You found the right one.” How did she know? How did she understand, at ten, what I don’t understand now? That we can always miss someone without doubting that what has come to pass was meant to be. That these two feelings do not take away from one another but are allowed to coexist in our hearts.
And she’s right, I think. Living in Sandtown was the most beautiful, wonderful, costly, enriching, infuriating, fun, sad, happy time of my life. Until now. And as I moved into this new life, taking on a whole new set of highs and lows, of dreams and unknowns, I carry with me the memories from my old home. Nothing will take these away from me and the sense of what I left behind lingers.
So I’ll borrow Kendra’s words. They are the words of every person who has ever left people that they loved to do what they knew was right. This could mean getting married but it could also mean serving God in another country, or pursuing a degree at a far away school, or taking a dream job. It could simply mean moving out and moving across town.
To my community in Sandtown and New Song: I will always miss you. I found the right one.