Barbara's Random Thoughts

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I feel like time is flying by. I have less than three weeks left here in the Bay area. Part of it is being past Thanksgiving. Part of it is wrapping things up at work. Part of it is planning a going away party. Part of it is being into December. But mostly because--THREE WEEKS.

After I pack up and leave here, I have a little over three weeks in SoCal, and then I'm off. It boggles the mind. I have three more Sundays at PBC. Two more YAF meetings. Two more weeks at work. All of these moments and experiences are slipping away, and it's bittersweet to be where I am. I'm looking at everything with nostalgia now. I know my friendships here won't end--they'll change, no doubt, but they're not gonna end. But I'm gonna miss this place. I'm gonna miss so many people.

I feel like I'm trying to take advantage of everything before I leave; to do everything I can squeeze in. Last night I helped YAF folks fix dinner for R&R, then skipped out to go to the BATL lecture at 7:30. I stayed up later than I should have last night--I got home to find that Julie had invited Tom over to hang out. Sleep is negotiable; hanging out with good friends is not. Today, it was more lecture in the morning, more conversation with friends, a YAF ministry team meeting, and then a "Barbara and the boys" lunch hangout. Ah, YAF, how I will miss you and your software engineers. ;-)

And I look forward at the unknown and wonder what this next year is going to hold. There's so much ahead!! I'm so excited for this adventure, so excited to explore what God has for me in this next phase of my life, and how my time next year in South Africa will shape the direction of my future. There is so, so much in store.

But right now, the excitement gets quickly overshadowed with goodbyes. Because I don't know when I'll be back here. In a way, my goodbyes here will be much harder than the goodbyes down in SoCal. I have family there; I know I'll be back. I don't know when I'll be back here.

Anne offered to let me stay with her when I come back to visit, so at least I know I have a place to crash with someone who's not planning on leaving in the near future! It's been good to have friends continue to say; "When you come back..." and suggest one of the many things I'm going to miss. At this year's annual pilgrimage to Barbara's Fishtrap in HMB for John's birthday, it was good to observe that next year I'll be back in the country in time for another dangerous crab trip.

But then I wonder, how long will I be back for? Will I be back for good? Where exactly will I be a year from now? Not knowing is disconcerting. But I'm not entirely unsettled about the not knowing, which is a huge blessing...and I think is also a testimony to some things God's been doing in my heart these past few years, making me more comfortable with trusting Him in the unknown.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does actually please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I never do anything apart from this desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may not know anything about it. Therefore, I will trust you always, even though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are always with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
--Thomas Merton
| posted by Barbara | 4:32 AM