Memories That Never Die

The past few days have been full of laughter, last moments, and love. What began in January as a trip to Atlanta, GA to encounter Jesus turned into a life altering 3 days and as 12 students set out to seek the face of the Lord on the other side of the world in Biarritz, FR...the number of students would soon become 13 as I joined the team. It seems forever ago when that moment was fresh, when it was reality, when it was still up in the air as to what exactly I would be doing in France.

We celebrated graduation on Friday afternoon with speeches, slideshows, and delicious food being served to us. We were served chicken breast, carrots, and potatoes with aioli. It was a brilliant meal shared with hands down the most appropriate and amazing people for this season in my life.

Then we walked down to Grand Plage, some of us for the last time maybe in our lives, we watched the clouds rolls in and sat in awe of the glory of Jesus. All things in creation point to His face, His character, and they bow down to him. Watching a sunset can be incredibly humbling as you realize how finite and small you are and you breathe in the realization that there is no way we are the biggest things in the universe. Even the foolishness of God is greater than man's wisdom.
And as we sat around the table yesterday morning, taking each other in, the laughs, personalities, jokes, I realized how much of an impact they had on me. I understand that they really changed me and shaped me. We took many pictures, we held each other to remember what we smelled like, we wiped at each other's flowing tears, and we realized that this was really the end. Likely, the last time we would all be together in one place.

The four of us piled into Dan's car, myself, KT, Tucker, and Kelsey. We waved to the girls and watched as they became distant figures in the mirror. Dan drove us to the train station, walked us to the platform where hugged us tight, told us to be safe, then we watched him blur out of our vision and boarded our train.

Six hours, two movies, and a few naps later we got off in Paris Montparnasse station and headed to our apartment. The eerieness of going through the metro station with only 4 people instead of 13 overwhelmed us. It is a strange feeling when you have boarded metros together for 3 consecutive months on a regular basis hearing the voices of others, looking for that safety, and it not being there.

We arrived at our apartment, settled in, went and ordered pizza and then ate on a hill that overlooks most of Paris to celebrate KT's birthday. We returned to the apartment, I packed, KT Skyped, the others updated family members and then we woke early this morning to bid KT goodbye. Next to go, Tucker and Kelsey tomorrow morning and I will leave in the afternoon.

A few more memories from this last week;

It is very surreal.
I'm excited, but it just hasn't fully hit me yet.
Reverse culture shock here I come.

The road has been long and it wasn't paved so I've stumbled here and there, but how amazing to look back on this time. What a blessing it has been. Thank you for journeying with me. Until the next adventure....