Wednesday, September 08, 2010

there and back again, again

Hello, blog buddies...

I know it seems I've disappeared but in reality I've had one of the craziest weeks of my life. My two-year mission post in Belfast, Northern Ireland was ending and so I spent the last week hanging out with great friends and colleagues (thankfully that's the same thing) every night, worshipping with Fitzroy for the last time and serving communion, saying tons of see-you-later's and packing up my ridiculous amount of stuff and giving away the rest in preparation to move back across the pond.

There was so much grace to be found...but really not much time to blog about it. Let's play catch-up, shall we?

I saw grace in a day away with Chris, Amy and Pete called "Whit's Sunny Strangford Send-Off" as we explored the scenic, beautiful areas around Comber and Portaferry. I saw grace in tons and tons of food, in tears and laughter, in stories and banter, in worship, in cups of tea, in heartfelt thanks, in so much more...

-We opened up our house for a little goodbye party (or "do" as they call it in Norn Iron) and it was such a gift to wander from room to room full of good friends. We shared stories, I shared books and even gave away the lovely little telephone table I had bought. I gave it to Chris and Amy and as Chris looked at it he said, "I think I recognize this. It looks like one my Granny had." Sure enough, his Granny donated it to the Oxfam where I bought it and now it's found its way back into her family. How whimsical.

-I had my last visit to St. George's Market where I was given free coffee from Mr. Javaman in honor of my last Saturday there. That will always be a place of great community for me.

-Having dinner with the lovely Denise (who is having a baby soon and wants me to come back and baptize it next summer, which I'm very thrilled with!) and Caoimhe and Helen. It was my 5th dinner in a row with friends saying see-you-later and it finally hit me that I was leaving. I felt a little panicky but Denise, in good Northern Irish habit, made me a cup of tea and brought me great comfort and insight.

-Having a last (see a theme here?) cappuccino at Common Grounds with Jo and Chris which was also free because Mo had sneaked my name onto the gift board.

-Hilarious banter with Chris (my former *sniff* co-worker) all during the week that continues as he keeps me informed of what's up via facebook and even wanted to skype at work today. I talked to him and Roberta on Skype as I drank my coffee this morning and they want it to be a daily ritual. I say that sounds fun!

-That last walk through the park to work surrounded by the sun-lit trees and misty autumnal air that just spoke of something magical, other, holy.

And now here are some pictures from my Sunny Strangford Lough Send-Off...

(I should probably tell you I climbed this. :) )

And so I find myself in Texas once again. I am sad to have left Belfast, and know that I'll never fully leave that place, but I suppose that's how it should be, and I'm excited with interviews coming up and future-dreaming. I'm loving the serenity and relaxation of home, that it's not just an idea to me but also a place. I'm grateful for friends sad to see me go and friends happy to see me back in the States again. I'm grateful for the warm welcome your very own brand-new tube of toothpaste can bring. I'm grateful to get to hold my Nana's hand again. There is actually grace to be found everywhere, even in bittersweet transitions, life-altering callings and journeys with friends and family alongside you. Life, it seems, is not static but changing and I suppose I should be grateful for that too.

1 comment:

JW said...

Those photographs are amazing, and so was your description of the experience. Thank you so much for sharing!