Saturday, June 09, 2007

Melancholia: Pensive reflection or contemplation (from Late Latin)

It seems strange that I'm leaving Atascadero in a little less than 2 months. Being here for the last 2 years has been... a growing experience. I had a really hard time adjusting to living here, and breaking in to a church of 1500 people is no small thing, especially for a person with my personality.

I remember getting to church on Sundays and wanting to turn around and run back to my car; I felt so alone, and the crowd of people was so intimidating (and I was even working part time in the church office). I still don't enjoy huge crowds; I don't think I ever will... It's not how I'm made up. But I can see such a difference now; I walk in to an event at church and I know 60 to 70% of the people. I eventually started working in the office full time, and I can see how God provided that job as a way for me to get to know more people and feel a part of it all.

As the time to leave approaches, I think about the details--packing, moving, etc. I'm having car issues and need to make decisions, which I vowed I would never do again... Hmmm, it seems that decision making is one of life's plagues.

But above the details and the decisions, I think most about the people I will be leaving. Another of life's cruelties is that you are always saying good-bye to those you have come to care about. I have been blessed to meet and love many people in my life, but I hate that they are scattered around the globe, and some I may never see again. I wish for a utopia where I could live surrounded by all those I love.

Here are a few of the people who have touched my life here in Atascadero:
Amy Douglas... She hosts our girls' Bible study; she also went with us to the Czech Republic.

Kathryn Morgan... She would MURDER me if she knew I was posting this picture. This is the wonderful lady who has allowed me to share her home for the last 9 months. I can get away with posting this because she doesn't have a computer--never has and never will!

Matt Knorr... This is a picture from when we were dating; now we are good friends, which is rather unusual in this world. We are grateful to still have our friendship.

Girls from my Bible study (l to r): Kerrin, Amy V., Mary (I'm in the back)

Kellie Wenzel... I lived at her house the first year I was here; we work together in the church office; she was also on the Czech team.

Sarah, Hannah, and Terri; Sarah and Hannah and their husbands are planning on doing missions. Sarah and Abel just got back from Tanzania, Africa. Hannah and Aaron aren't sure where they're going yet. Terri is Matt's mom and has been incredibly loving and accepting; she gives great hugs!

This picture epitomizes Hannah; she is full of life and full of joy. She and I have a special connection because she is an MK from PNG; I was so surprised when I met her at my chiropractor's office. I asked her where she was from, and she said, "Papua New Guinea." I said, "PNG?" She was shocked that I knew what she was talking about. We've been very good friends ever since; that MK connection is something you just can't explain.