I am probably one of the most awkward people with goodbyes. I like to pretend it's not really happening and am always saying "see you soon," even when there's a possibility I may never see that person again. It's an area I'd like to grow in. I think it's healthy to have good closure and in our profession we are perpetually saying goodbye to people we have built significant relationships with.
The beginning of our goodbye to Auburn began last Thursday night when we hosted our graduating seniors for a dinner at our place. Every year is a mixture of excitement and sadness... letting seniors go is the culmination of our ministry. Some we have spent four years with and some only one, but all have become dear friends by the time they leave.
It's makes me tear up to think about what an incredible honor it is to have a job where our "product" is changed lives. We, of course, believe that it is the Spirit's work and not our own, but to be a vessel of that is just incredible. I loved looking at all the faces at the dinner and thinking about how not only their lives have been changed in college but how the generations of lives (their children, their spouses, their co-workers, etc.) will be changed as well because of Jesus' gospel at work in their hearts.
What a joy. Here are some pictures of the night...
I was so proud that I didn't cry the whole weekend. When I got home, though, W's reaction turned on the waterworks. He hugged me around the neck, then would pull back and smile really big, and the hug me again and repeat. It was a heart melter.