I've been back from Rockbridge for something like a day and a half, and while I've spent most of it in a cave recovering from being super social for a week, I don't feel quite ready to jump back into the real world. I'm not quite sure how to articulate that, but the best way I can explain it now is that the night I got back I checked my email and there was so much to respond to and almost immediately I felt like I was running behind on it all. Our schedules at camp are packed to the very brim, but it's a different kind of busy-ness here in the real world, and right now I'm feeling like I would trade it all in a minute.
Camp was good in a different way than it's ever been, at least for me. I did the small group leader track and it was great. I've said before that I'm not a very critical reader without being prompted with questions and I feel like this week helped a lot, gave me a good structure with which to look at whatever I'm reading. Already that structure is disappearing and becoming unconscious. Better than all of that, though, was my actual small group. I'm not sure what to say about it, but it was probably the best one I've ever been in. The whole thing felt like a part of something so much bigger than it normally feels like and it made me especially excited to be coming on Link staff. In fact, toward the beginning of the week, someone asked me if I was a student or staff and I had no idea what to say because I'm not really either right now and it horrifies to think I don't look fifteen anymore. Maybe horrifies is too strong a word... Still kind of crazy, though.
I think the biggest part of the week, though, was just realizing I won't be here next year for any of this. I won't be able work at things and help the evangelism team and just generally take care of people. It sounds ridiculous to type out. God was working in this chapter before I got here and will continue to do so long after I leave, but I guess the process is entrusting that to him. The part about all of this that surprised me most was the very last day, nothing left but worship before we all went home, my staffworker came up to me and said something and all of it just hit me at once, that really this is the end of it and it's being passed along to other people who will go on taking care of people, through whom God will do awesome things. And who knew? I'm not a crier, but for a couple minutes there, I was.
However however however, the best part of all of this is the students--my friends--that will still be here. I'm thinking of two girls who are gonna lead an amazing small group. I'm thinking of people who actually want to share the Lord with their friends, one in particular who sat talking with me about his friend for something like an hour because he cares about her so much, and who knew a year ago that this is what it would look like? This whole evangelism thing? It's such a heavy word, its connotations aren't always good ones, but this is it, this is what it is. And they've got it. When did that happen? More than anything else I'm excited about these things, and in the midst of being ready to move on to the next thing in my life--Romania for sure now--I know the things I'm leaving are going to go on well and I can't imagine anything better to leave with than that.
I'm not sure how to end this, but I read a couple of days ago this phrase in Latin: dum spiro spero. It means while I breathe, I hope. The coolest part of that is how close breathing and hoping are. Spiro like respirate, spero like esperar. I don't know nearly enough about Latin to know if the connection goes any further than just being a letter apart. The word spirit comes from the same root that spiro comes from. So does aspire, the definition of which dictionary.com tells me is:
"To long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, esp. for something great or of high value."
Sounds like hoping to me. Sounds like a good way to leave all of this, hoping like breathing.