It felt like ages but it was such a short time…That time between seeing the support come in and leaving.
The uncertainty.
To pack or keep going with life as it is.
To move around or stay put.
To organise one more visit or have time for yourself.
To invest in new relationships – or not.
To communicate with supporters and not to spam.
To research, understand or be overwhelmed and pause
To watch relationships change – yours with others, others with others, groups and organisations that you care about shift and bend.

With one email, it changes.
“Congrats guys, you can buy tickets.”
The excitement and the fear.
The packing and unpacking.
The suitcases and scales.
The cleaning and dumping.
The coffees and the crying.
The times to meet people.
The people you have no time to meet.
The crowds and commissioning.
The solitary and the sad.

It takes a community to raise a child. It takes a community to do life. It is in community that the kingdom is glimpsed, a future hope present today.

It is community that is ripped away.
No shared history
No inside jokes
No common understanding
No one with the same experiences.
No one.

Old friendships are like a favourite jumper. Warm and familiar. Comforting and secure. Loved, patches healed and memories stored within the stretchmarks.

But summer is here and the times for wearing jumpers is few and far between.

The summer wardrobe awaits.
New. Unfamiliar. Ill-fitting in places.
Clean and unweathered.

And so tears come.
Grief for relationships changed and friendships lost.
Grief for potential friendships that never had time to grow.
Grief for people that don’t seem to understand
Grief for the friendships that know the heart without having to use words.
Grief for stuff once owned, once valued, locked away or discarded.
Grief for childhood experiences never to be experienced.
Grief for knowledge unlearned.
Grief for organisations and structures continuing and changing without us there.

But summer is coming and beneath the heat, a seed germinates. A promise of the kingdom now and to come. A seed that needs to sit in the soil for a while. To grow from the life that has been before. To push through the dark-yet-safe. To reach for the sun.

Stacie is an Interserve Partner, serving with her family in Cambodia