Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things Change

Intent forms are out for next year and colleagues are starting to make decisions about their futures and whether CAJ will be a part of that future. The year still feels fresh, and yet already I am starting to steel myself for the goodbyes. The longer I stay here, the harder the goodbyes get: already I know that my roommate Gabe will not be coming back next year, as well as another co-worker who has been very much a mentor to me.

This is tough. I've written before about the nature of TCK life, and the role that goodbyes play for TCKs. Well, it's no less true for the adults in an international school setting... I'm determined to stay here. I'm not positive for how much longer. I won't rule anything out--I could move on in a few years, or I could be here for quite a while: it all depends on where God calls me. However, this impending round of goodbyes will be hard, and as the list of those not returning increases I am sure it will only become tougher.

I wish I could defiantly exclaim "This isn't what I signed up for!" like they do in the movies, but that just wouldn't be true. This is what I signed up for, and I've known that since the start. Should my response be to avoid friendship? Absolutely not! I need to invest in people as often and as much as I can no matter how temporary of time we will share together in the same geographical location.

Shallow pleasantries, the "how's it going?"s that nobody really means--that's not friendship. I need to approach every new friendship that comes my way over the next few years with value--cherish opportunities to become part of others' lives as they become a part of mine... to dig in and really get to know people. Sure, it'll hurt when and if we go our separate ways, but that's just a sign and symptom of true friendship.

So I think to myself: how can I invest in those around me? How can I best build friendships in a setting that I'm finding to be so changeable?

And I also think: I am so grateful that my best Friend is one who is ever-faithful, unchangeable: a true and good Foundation. Thank you, Lord.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is a characteristic of some TCKs and adults who have lived in such situation that we tend to "dive deep" into relationships and don't waste time with the shallow "how are going's?". Once you realise that there may not be much time (indeed you never know how much), then you seem to make the most of what you have. Unfortunately when we return to our "home" countries, this kind of attitude to friendship can be a tad scary to people back there!