And here’s why:
1) The cooler (bench) in my office, filled with leftover soft drinks from our golf tournament, was opened unsuspectedly by our lead pastor. I didn’t know that cardboard + condensation + time= the smell of a junior high boys locker room. The tears you see in my eyes aren’t from the heartbreak I will speak of later, but of the onion-sock smell up in my eye thanks to our curious leader.
Now for the real reason I’m emo today.
My students are graduating. Tonight I’ll go to one of our middle school’s 8th grade graduations. Our seniors are graduating–those who I’ve watched from a distance–who I’ve walked past, joking and laughing with like they’d be here for ever–kids I’ve known for years are packing up their rooms and memories for to head to college.
Now I know that this sadness/ happiness/ excitement/nauseousness isn’t much to compare with what some moms and dads are feeling right now but it’s still hard to think about.
Every year the same thing happens. I get excited about new students coming into our ministry while at the same time I’m stubborn, not wanting the mature ones to leave just yet (and by mature, I mean mature in comparison to what they were!)
I will miss every 8th grader who spent the last three years with me–even though they are merely walking across the hall to our high school auditorium. They are my “kids” and it feels good knowing that the time I spent investing in them will continue through our high school ministry. The seeds planted will bloom in their lives lived for Christ. The ultimate pay-off.
It’s a good place to be. There are so many things to celebrate. But if you stood next to me tonight, you’d see a tear (or two) and you might just have to hug me and tell me that they are going to be ok.
I’ll come back to my onion pit of an office knowing that there will always be days when I’m happy/sad and there will always be friends in ministry who feel the same way I do.