This will likely be one of the last posts I do until we are done with our training. I had the intention of posting a bit more regularly with updates and insights about what we have learned and experienced here in Ossining, but the time has gone by in the blink of an eye. We have our final sending ceremony (our “graduation” if you will) this Saturday, and almost immediately folks are heading off to spend their final weeks in preparation for our imminent departures. It’s mind-boggling, actually. As I walk through the building, the chapel, and the classroom, there’s such a flood of emotions that come at the realization that we’re done here and that the next step is a REALLY BIG step. The last few days have focused a lot of preparing for the transition and embracing the complexity of emotions we may be feeling at this time.
And it is an emotional time. We’re lucky that 5 of the 16 are going to Tanzania, so we don’t have as many goodbyes to say, but there are still many goodbyes to come in the next few days. Some folks I’ve gotten to know better than others, but everyone in the group is a person that I am so happy to be able to call a friend. Not only are there feelings of sadness as we experience these farewells, but the swirl of emotion inside is intense. I am so excited to be reaching my goal of moving to Africa- I told someone the other day that I have been so fixated on just getting to Africa that at this point I don’t even have to be good at what I am being sent to do to feel like I accomplished my goal; “boots on the ground” is enough at this point. So I am excited, but I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a bit freaked out. Anxiety can get a pretty good foothold if I let it. The other day I found myself lying in bed just staring at the ceiling, having a moment where I was filled with doubt, filled with a feeling of truly second-guessing myself and my decision. But it passed. I am ready to do this. I offer my anxieties up to God; my spirit is ready to take on the challenge.
So when people ask “How are you feeling? Are you excited?” please bear with us if we hesitate or give a slightly confused answer. Yes, we are excited, but that excitement comes all bundled up with lots of other thoughts. In the next day or two, I’ll try to get some quotes up here. We’ve had lots of excellent quotes, passages, and little sayings passed on to us, many of which contain lots of wisdom and points to ponder. I hope to be able to share some of these with you soon.