I knew moving to seminary would be hard. I hate to say this (and I’m not sure it was totally intentional), but when we moved in last year, I looked at the housing list and made mental notes of who would be moving at this time this year. And I didn’t get all that close to them.
So why did I cry this morning when the family from upstairs moved away? Sure, I’m sad they are leaving, but I knew they would be ever since I met them. And I’m excited on their behalf at what they are moving to. But, as I stood around watching them say their good-byes to their really good friends, I had a serious flashback to when we left Colorado last year. And I cried.
As I stood there seeing their hurting friends, knowing too well what they were feeling at this moment, I realized that tearful good-byes are better than empty ones. It is better to love people (and to be loved in return) than to be so self-protecting that nobody cares at the end of our St. Louis experience. The pain of leaving is better than the pain of loneliness.
Now my goal isn’t to have 10 families standing around waving and crying when we pull out of here in three years, but if we don’t have even one, we will not have completely succeeded, as we will leave here with a degree but nothing more.
So, it is time to stop being selfish. To be intentional with people – even people who are leaving next year (perhaps especially people who are leaving next year) – many of whom lost their very good friends this week. This isn’t about being introverted/extroverted; it is simply about being human. And I can do that. My heart is thawing out a little. Here we go.