At breakfast Saturday morning, Josh Metzl asked, "Go to Tim’s house?" Marty reminded him that we said goodbye to Tim’s house Friday night. I’m not sure it’s sunk in for me, either. Nonetheless, I am overwhelmed today with a deep gratitude for the experience of fun and friendship that God gave us. Molly (Warner, not Metzl!) spent the afternoon helping us pack up what little we have left (a huge morale booster). After work, Alex, Mark and Jessica, the Metzl crew, and Randy came over to help out. It turned out to be both fun and easy. With 9 adults plus Josh (who helped) and Molly Metzl (who smiled), everyone had time both to catch up and pitch in. It was chaotic to some degree but in this precious community way. When we were all done, the storage unit was packed full to the top and the house was sparkling clean. My sweet house, which didn’t look or feel any less mine despite the emptiness.
As we were turning out the lights, I felt a wave of sadness. 2.5 years in this, my first house. 3 years in my first job. And here it all goes. We’re leaving it behind to move off to a country we don’t know anything about and where we know no one. Because we were all leaving to get pizza, I didn’t really have time to digest the moment. Probably a good thing for now.
Our Wolfman pizza dinner with the Landons and Warners turned out to be one of those moments I know I will remember always. There was something so not unique about it. It felt like it could be every missionary’s story- late night dinner in an old pizza parlor with friends the night before heading off. It was beautiful and simple and right. I feel infinitely grateful for these friends, their realness to me, their reliability, their servant hearts. I would not be the person I am without their steadfast support. In January 2003, when I felt God telling me that He would send me to the mission field at some other time in the future when I could be sent from a community and into a community, I had no idea how lovely and essential community could be. These are the people who hold me up by their prayers and presence.