N.B. One of my favourite places in the world is by the sea. For me, there is something deeply spiritual about sitting down on the seafront, staring out across the water. As the sun sets it creates an atmosphere that allows me to think, put things into perspective, and spend some time alone without the pressures of what to say or do. It’s one of the few times that I truly feel able to be myself. Sometimes I curl up on a bench and cry, and sometimes I feel like drowning myself in the sea, but being completely honest before God is something that is really important to me: especially when I feel rubbish. God asks us to come before him at all times, in all moments of life, when we are battling and struggling with all kinds of emotions.
Over the last few weeks, I have learnt some really amazing stuff about the strength of God’s love for me, and about what loving someone really means. I think I’ve really begun to understand the strength of that phrase: Love hurts. I’ve always known it, but I think there are a lot of things that people know but don’t really know. And then, when you finally realise it, and it hits you what it actually means, it starts to change the way that you view the world. That’s not to say that the world doesn’t take that realisation away from you again. I think that some things you have to learn over and over again.
Anyways, this week was the handover for the boy that the Andrews family have been fostering over the last few years. He’s been at Avenue for longer than I have, so it’s been a little strange and very hard to think that he won’t be around anymore. On the positive side, he is being adopted into a really loving, Christian family where he will be with his siblings. Sadly, it means that we miss out on watching this amazing little kid grow up. It’s amazing to think that all the things that everyone has always wanted for him have finally come true, even if it took so long for it to happen. But it was also really hard to say goodbye, especially for the Andrews’ who have loved this kid like their own for over three years, and have watched him learn to walk, talk and begin to figure out life.
Understandably, the last few weeks have seen everyone’s emotions run a little all over the place, and I have had more than a few tearful conversations with various children and young people. As happy as we all are for him, we’re really going to miss him. We love that kid, no-one more so than the Andrews, but amidst that love, we must acknowledge that this is the best thing for him, and as much as it hurts to say goodbye, hurt must be endured. Even writing this is bringing tears to my eyes, though I know that everything is going to be okay. I guess one of the hardest things for me has been to watch the Andrews kids getting upset, and knowing that it’s not something that I can make any better; so on Sunday, amidst comforting crying children, I realised that the only thing I could actually do is to share in their pain. Therefore, anyone still hanging around at church had to leave by passing a small pile of sobbing Ami and children on the floor, childishly clinging onto one another for comfort. It may not have been professional, but it made a difference. It helped make that which otherwise was an extremely difficult day, slightly less difficult.