For the last 5 years of my life I have lived in a very lively, engaging, exciting and full on missional community who live in a big house all together and who share a similar schedule to each other. I have loved every minute of it, (Outside of a sad 2 month period in late 2010, and the one time our community mum told me i had to go back to bed cause i was too sick #wisdom)
I have loved all the friends i have made, all the life changing moments i have been apart of, all the things I’ve learned and the adventures I’ve been on. (except that time we slept at the beach in winter #worstideaever)
Because of the intimacy of such a community, there have been countless goodbyes that have tugged at my heart strings. Some of these have physically hurt because of the beauty of a relationship or the epic scope of an experience had and finished.
It would be easy, for a human heart to give up on intimacy full stop. It would be easy for a softened, loving heart, to decide enough was enough, no more friendships, no more intimacy, no more involving itself in others lives, as it will just end in sadness, farewells and constant missing of everyone. This step has been constantly on my mind as well as many around me.
Do we love, or do we preserve our love just in case.
I, as well as my best friend before me have chosen the raw honesty of loving everyone who walked through our doors. This means that i have a large community of iMessage and Voxer conversations going on constantly. This means that my heart sometimes twinges when i look at instagram and miss all my beautiful friends making nice looking food. But this was OK, because at least i had a home base, at least i had my community of constant security in amongst the turmoil of eternal farewells.
And then that day came.
Two days ago I said my final farewells to that home of five years. Now i was the one leaving. Now i was the one that will be seen eating swedish meatballs and swimming in freezing cold water on instagram.
And it occurred to me days before – I could go into this thing emotionless. Because I’m going on a new adventure. Because I am going where God is calling me. Because sweden is going to be amazing and I’m excited for it. So i could switch off.
But the other side of the coin is, that i am leaving friends and family who have been there and will continue to be there for me for ever. As they commissioned me out, a woman who has lead me the most during my work there told me exactly that “we are your family and you cant get rid of us” It made my heart warm.
So I made a decision to feel this farewell. To get around to everyone. I must’ve hugged more than 50 people before i left that morning. I got to say some nice words to some. I also got stopped by our base Dad and thanked. It meant so much, this man who inspires me and pushed me further into fun stuff than i ever thought possible was thanking me. I didn’t want to leave. None of me wanted to leave that place. Because it is SO good. I could stay there forever. But then the comments started.
‘Im going to miss you but your going to do so good in Sweden’
The reminder. That I’m not just leaving, I’m going to something different. I have craved an adventure of this type since I was a boy without knowing it. I have been set up perfectly for it by a loving, strange and adventurous community and now I am emerging from a womb-like cocoon – not a beautiful butterfly yet…. – more like an awkward lady beetle with glasses. But my wings are strong.
Leaving Lewis house is hard. And there will be moments of sadness for a long time. Although… there’s always voxer and iMessage. But at the same time, there is nothing in this world like hugging 50 people, taking a selfie with alex and having karen Thorpe give you a muffin as you get on the train.
I am a blessed man. With a lot of amazing friends. and i thank you all.
So i guess what I am saying is.
LOVE DEEPLY. Make friends with everyone, and figure out how to sincerely farewell those that leave.
face kisses all around.