This week was my last week home. It has been an interesting week. I am used to end of summer goodbyes but this year it was different as there was more questions on when people would see me again. The simple answer and the answer that is hard for people to accept is I don’t know. The thing I found interesting in the entire situation is that on Friday and Saturday I visited friends from college. Some had moved onto campus early and others lived close enough to drive in and hang out for a while. My first visit to Manchester as an Alumni. It was so much fun. I left and was so happy I had the opportunity to see them and I can’t wait to go back and visit the ones who move to campus tomorrow. When it was time to leave each friend the question came as to when I would see them again. I gave them the same answer I gave people in La Porte, “I don’t know”. The reaction was completely different. It was one of acceptance and happiness. I had been able to spend time with them and they knew I will come back sometime when I can. I don’t know is such a normal part of college that you take what you can get. As a college student at Manchester, it was normal to have no clue what you wanted to do with your life or where you were going in the future. The only college students with a solid four or five year plan at Manchester are the first years during the first few months. In general, if you are looking for the college kids with their lives planned out, it’s the first years. Since my friends are used to living not knowing the future and being fine with it i(maybe even excited because there are so many options and it’s fun to think about) instead of saying goodbye, like I have been in LP, my friends at school chose to say cya later. We didn’t hug. It wasn’t emotional. The emotional and hugging part was when we saw each other and said hi. This was like leaving for a break. We left with the expectation of seeing each other again and being content not knowing when that would be. This has made me feel so much better because it is hard telling people you don’t know when you will be back. I left campus feeling excited and ready to go on with my life and return there someday to tell my friends all about my adventures since I last saw them and listen to them tell me about theirs.
This week I also started getting nervous about whether or not I was ready and starting becoming doubtful. Going back to campus helped me remember many events that helped me grow as a person and realize that I am ready for this. My athletics taught me hard work and dedication. Those summer workouts may have been annoying and tough, but they were worth it. The athletic training room, while not the one I ever wanted to be in, taught me to overcome and work through tough and unexpected situations. Dorms taught me how to live with others and solve conflicts. My classes and professors taught me confidence. Confidence that I can solve problems. That I can critically think. Confidence that I can tackle the hardest sounding jobs when I put my mind to it. My friends reminded me that while I will be farther in distance, they are all still there and I have them to lean on or share joys with and just chat if I want to. Most of all campus taught me how trust God completely. When you spend four years in an “I don’t know world” there are a lot of times that you just have to trust God that somehow everything will work out. Junior year after my concussion I had no clue how I was going to write three ten page papers in two weeks time when I still got migraines from looking at a computer for just ten minutes. Somehow, it worked out like it always did. May not have been my best papers ever, but I did them and they weren’t too bad. God will work it out if you control the things you can control and focus on the next step instead of the next fifty.
I feel ready now and really excited. After seeing friends and saying cya later to them. I am going to miss everyone while I am gone, but I am ready and excited for this next adventure. I will come back sometime to MU and LP to visit, but right now I don’t know when that will be and that’s okay. Tomorrow morning I get commissioned by my church and then Monday morning I leave for the airport. I fly to New York for a week of orientation before returning to Indiana. I will try to update sometime soon. Please keep me and my fellow YAV’s in your prayers the coming weeks as we go through our orientations and head out to our sites.