Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crying In My Kitchen

A friend came by today, a colleague of Matt's who recently moved here from a country in Central Asia. We've known of each other for several years, interacting briefly here and there, but haven't had the chance to spend much time together until now. And she is now what I was at one time -- nearly 30, a single American woman living overseas.

As we talked, I found myself sharing about my former life, about Kenya, about Rift Valley Academy, about the work I did and the kids I loved.

And she said that she had gone to college with a guy who went to RVA. Did I know him? Are you kidding? I helped sponsor his class!

(Right then, I realized: Oh my goodness, my kids are getting ready to turn 30!)

Then she said one of his friends from RVA used to come and visit campus, and whenever this girl came, she stayed with her. Did I know her? Are you kidding? She was one of my 35 original 6th graders! I have a picture of her (and eight beautiful friends from that class) sitting on my desk right now.

And then I began to cry.

I could hardly get the words out: Thank you for befriending him, for hosting her, for being there. These past 11 years I've missed those kids so much and wished I could have been there for them more than the occasional email, phone call or prayer. Thank you for being there for them when I couldn't be.

I'm absolute rubbish at multi-tasking. I can pretty much only focus on one thing at a time. Right now it's Jack and Sophie -- and Matt, of course -- and I wouldn't trade them for the world. For a long time, though, that other life was my focus. I wouldn't trade that, either. I'm so thankful that I had those years. My heart is so much richer and fuller because of the time I shared with those kids.

And today in the middle of my life -- this all-consuming life -- in the middle of my kitchen, my heart overflowed.


Anonymous said...

I love this - thanks for sharing!
Oink in NC

Sarah said...

This makes me smile. So glad you shared with us.

letha said...

You almost made me cry. Thanks for writing. You will always be a role model to me.

Ruth said...

Beautiful. It's so wonderful how God provides these moments so you can see that He who began a good work in them will be faithful to complete it.

Dani said...

We love you too Miss Berge!

Heather said...

OHHHH!! This made me cry!!! Love you and think of you often!! You are so appreciated!
Heather A.

aeleblanc4 said...

hey Laura,
Thanks for the Facebook Message telling me about this! I do remember Jana and really appreciate her for generously hosting for me and Derek. It's funny, during those years and the years to come, Derek became forever a tight friend. Lots of Love Laura, Being almost 30 and single is a blessing for the sheer amount of glorious people we get to focus on and pour our hearts into! Memories will always remind us that we loved deeply, doesn't matter whether it was towards a family or towards people unrelated. We loved who was given to us with all our souls, as we should. God is so clever to arrange it that way.