Twenty Years

Twenty years ago I packed my bags and moved home after serving in voluntary service at Hillcrest Home. I was planning on spending the summer at home, then returning to teach school in the fall. I was excited about teaching again after taking a two-year break, and I had fallen in love with beautiful Arkansas. I had even entertained thoughts of making it my permanent home. But Hillcrest is a place that is constantly changing, and into my second year of teaching I felt the urge to move on.
After receiving a call to teach at a school closer to home, I started making plans in that direction. With six years of experience teaching, and two years in voluntary service under my belt, I felt like an elderly maiden ready to settle in for long term. Little did I know how long that would be!
Now, eighteen years later I have packed my bags again. This time the future looks a little more uncertain. Maybe teaching in a different culture; maybe my days of teaching in Mennonite schools is at an end. I’m not sure what all is in store and what all the Father has for me. But one consolation I have: If I follow His will, then He will be with me; and with Him, nothing is impossible!
During the time I taught, I lived at a small house close to school during the week. I also had a lot of things stored at school. Sorting through those things and packing them up, has taken me down memory lane many times. Good memories. The vase-not very attractive-but makes me think of the student who gave it. The pointer that was always in my chalk tray. The favorite puzzle that has been put together by students hundreds of times. So many things that mean little to anyone else, but hold memories for me. I put a lot of those things on a garage sale and am letting someone else enjoy them. But the memories I can keep forever.
Two weeks ago we had a reunion for those who worked at Hillcrest Home 20 years ago. Much mention was made of the things that have changed. Some have less hair, some changed hair color. Most are married and have children. Life has brought challenges and things that have strengthened us. Many are still faithful in following God. On Friday evening, the first person from our group of staff, passed away after a battle with cancer.
In looking back, I don’t think I really put much thought into where I expected to be in 20 years. But maybe there is value in considering this. Instead of aimlessly living life, have long-term purpose and goals. What will the next 20 years hold? Only God knows. My goal is to live, so that if we meet again in 20 years, I will be found among the faithful.

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