This whole saying goodbye thing just isn’t something I’m into. I mean, I’m sure people think it’s “necessary” and “unavoidable,” but really, one action should not cause this much sadness.
Just kidding 🙂
But really, tonight is my very last night in Brooklyn, and even though the past couple of days have been the most confusing and weird and awkward days of my entire time here, I’m actually heartbroken to be leaving.
This morning I woke up in an odd fashion, wondering, again, how on earth God was going to use this, how He was going to be glorified in any of it, and how He could possibly still care about me as much as He does. I’m at one of those points where I’m wondering how He’s not totally sick of me, because I’m pretty sick of myself.
I talked to God for awhile, voicing the same confusion as I wrote to you now. I just couldn’t make sense of any of it…and I’m so grateful that God is so much more capable of handling my messes than I am. I’m so grateful that He takes the mess ups and the ridiculousness and graciously transforms it into good…it drives me absolutely crazy.
Mom and Jimmy walked into my room before I was even out of bed…so THAT was a bit embarrassing. Regardless, I finished packing, got changed, and the three of us headed out to meet up with Rebecca, Grace, Jenny, and Adham for lunch at the Terrace Coffee Shop. As I walked, I couldn’t help but fall prey to my own frustrations with my own shortcomings, my own immaturity. Let’s just say the whole day was a battle with this feeling. I was frustrated that other people had to be involved in the choices that resulted from my confusion.
But with my mother and brother there, with Bree being a blessing in the morning, a listening ear, I felt less like a hopeless wreck and more like a flawed human being. God didn’t make me to be perfect, He didn’t create me to be a robot that always makes the right decisions. He made me to lean on Him, especially after I’ve fallen flat on my face, because He’s the only One in the entire span of time and the known and unknown universe capable of picking up the pieces.
God: Potter Hunter: Clay
It was exceptionally warm out today, the sun shining and the wind blowing just enough to keep us from seriously sweating. We got to the Coffee Shop early and we ordered. Jimmy was so anxious for my friends to come that he almost outweighed my own excitement. I assured him that even if none of them came, things would be okay.
But surely enough, all of them came, and that lunch was the best way to end the year 🙂 Teasing, story-telling, food-exchanging, laughter, and love were thrown across the table and through the air, and I didn’t want it to end.
When we’d finished eating, my mom discovering a love for guacamole and Jimmy, for the first time in forever, claiming he was “just too full,” the group of us headed out. I invited Jenny and Rebecca to come with me and my family to Manhattan. Looking back now I’m so glad they came, because it would’ve been fun but not as fun without them 🙂 also, we would’ve been miserably lost.
Anyway, we ran to Jenny’s house to grab an umbrella or two. Jimmy, Grace, and I waited outside with Adham and Duston pulled up in his van. I’m going to call this a God thing because it totally was. I got to say goodbye to Duston and my mom got to meet him. By now it’s raining and it’s getting heavier. I hugged Adham good-bye and tried not to think about how long it would be before I saw him again, but silently thanked God for the friendship in him He’d blessed me with. And I don’t deserve any of it.
Jenny, Rebecca, Jimmy, Mom, and I began our wet trek to the subway. Jimmy and I were the only ones without umbrellas so we sprinted through the pouring rain, stopping under the bridge and then continuing onward until we reached the station. The water was dripping from my nose and eyelashes and my hair and clothes and shoes were all completely drenched. But I was laughing and I didn’t care 🙂
We hopped on the train and headed to Manhattan, and by the time we arrived in Times Square it had stopped raining and the sun had come out. We headed to Toys R Us (because we’re mature, sophisticated, city women like that) and I was stunned by the animatronics used in the giant T-Rex in Legoland. Also, I’ve never seen so many Barbie dolls in my entire life (I had been here before, but I hadn’t gone into that section of the store).
We walked out of Toys R Us and headed to M&M World, where we proceeded to buy a large amount of beautifully colored peanut M&Ms. Mom and Jimmy were having a great time, and I was trying not to think about how little time I had left to spend with my people. Grace met up with us at the M&M store, and I was so glad to see her again before I had to head back campus and move out (even though I’d just seen her not an hour or two ago).
We went out of that candy store and into another. The Hershey’s Store brimmed with people and smelled of Reese’s peanut butter cups and York peppermint patties. We maneuvered our way through but exited when my Mom reminded me of my move-out appointment. Time was up.
When we stepped outside it was raining again. We trekked across the crowded streets to the subway, and the rain only got harder. At one point, while we were in the middle of a cross walk, it was like a bucket of water the size of the Titanic had been dumped on the small space of pavement we occupied, and I became instantly drenched and all of the women standing around us screamed and laughed as their umbrellas fell limp. It was fantastic 🙂
When we got into the subway station, in the damp air of the underground, it was time to say goodbye. Grace is leaving for Korea in the beginning of June and may or may not be coming back. Rebecca is leaving too, though not to live in a place so far away. So it’s possible, after today, I might not ever see them again. But, even as we said goodbye and my stomach did that weird flip-thing it does whenever I get nervous, I knew that it wasn’t our last time together, because, as corny and ridiculous as it may sound, I’ll see them in Heaven, even if I don’t ever see them again on earth.
“Hunter, stop taking everything so seriously. It’s a small world and traveling is easy. You’re going to see them again. Calm the heck down.”
Yeah, yeah I know. But things shift and people change, the world moves and God calls people different places. And that’s okay 🙂
Jimmy, Mom, and I jumped on the A-train to head back to campus. I tried not to cry as we passed stop after stop, tried not to think about everything I was going to miss, tried not to think about how strange and unexpected the past few days have been and about how ridiculous I am. As I let myself think about God’s love and His truth and the completely unsafe, adventurous life He’s called me to live, I became more aware of just how much I need Him. I’m not saying, in the case of using the adjective “adventurous,” that He’ll send me to some far away land or put me in a position of high power, though He might do those things. I’m saying, simply, that every day is an adventure with God. Every day, whether I believe it or not, is a display of His glory and His grace and His power. God is totally active in how many breaths I breathe in a second, totally involved in the tides moving in and out along the sea shore, overseeing the commute of the numerous New Yorkers and playing a definitive role in the commute. Every day is an adventure with God, because God is in every day and every night.
We arrived at my dorm and moved all of my everything out in about thirty minutes, and once I handed in my key and laundry card and said goodbye to Renny and Bree, it hit me: I was really leaving.
My family and I ran to the C-Store and did some shopping before heading to the hotel (we were planning on staying the night in The City and heading home in the morning).
We headed back out to eat dinner the moment we arrived. It’s weird: when me, Gracie, and Mom came nine months ago and headed out, I had been so afraid of someone mugging me or my getting hit by a car and alligators in the sewers and all sorts of things. Now I grabbed a cup of coffee from the hotel lobby and walked nonchalantly through the dark streets of Brooklyn without fear. Amazing.
We arrived at a little Italian restaurant on Henry Street called Francesco’s. While we sat I talked to Mom and Jimmy was a crazy person. After dinner (I had a grilled vegetable panini, Jimmy had cheese pizza, and Mom had a calzone), we ordered dessert, which was tiramisu (to die for) and vanilla bean cheesecake (to die for and then come back to life to eat a second time). After we finished and paid we walked back to the hotel, completing our day.
It’s weird how you can come to a place so alien to you and then leave the same place feeling like you’re leaving home. I’m beginning to wonder just how citified I’ve become over time 😛 I guess we’ll see!
That verse in Ecclesiastes has been constantly running through my head, “the end of something is better than its beginning.” While a few things have ended in the past few days, while goodbyes have been exchanged and tears have been shed, and homesickness instilled, this end is just the beginning.
Chapter one is over. Freshman year is complete. Chapter two, however, is an entirely different story, and I can’t wait to see who and what God is going to write into it 🙂