As I write this, I’m working on my fourth cup of (decaf!) coffee while sitting in a mini-booth at Panera Bread. With less than a day left in the U.S., I’m feeling a fair flurry of emotions. It’s exciting to be this close to embarking on a journey that I have long anticipated, and I’m eager to move forward into this next chapter. That said, the sadness at leaving my dear family and friends — and all that is familiar — is also very real during these days. This morning, from the same Panera, I bid a final farewell to my parents. It felt strangely like the same sort of goodbye as when starting grade-school; we all experienced anew the pain of separation from family as if for the first time. The grief, much like any other, comes in unexpected waves. If indeed this is a blog to mark significant thoughts and moments, it would surely be incomplete without noting that bittersweet mixture of feelings.
Yet how generous you have ALL been, allowing me to go with open hands and hearts and sending me forth with God’s peace. I’m glad to have been able to see so many of you during the past few weeks, as you’ve graciously opened your homes to this nomadic friend of yours. My Subaru held up nicely over some 5,000 miles of driving in six weeks, and it’s been a marathon of staying in a different bed (and often a different state) every night or two during that time. As a result, when I do finally arrive in Nepal, I’ll probably feel more settled than I have in quite some time! And how deeply I treasure each of your e-mails, voice messages, notes, texts and prayers — soaking up all the beautiful care & kindness I can now for the days to come.
In closing, here is a brief scripture for your reflection (from my personal retreat at Liebenzell last week). Will be in touch once I arrive in KTM…
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory…” ~ I Peter 1:8 ~