I have been trying this past 6 months or so to make North County my home. It’s been an interesting experience. I’ve had to mourn and cut myself off from things, people and places that have made me comfortable. But I have found that as I’ve come up here, there have been new experiences and joys that have made the pain of leaving worth the reward of entering.
However, I’ve encountered a new phenomenon lately. I’ve watched my new “home” begin to change. It is an obvious but strange occurence that change happens… in the places you’ve left and the places you’ve entered. This strangeness slapped me in the face today, when I found out that the Smart & Final down the street that I go to for party supplies told me today that they are closing. My Myers-Briggs NF started to kick in and there was this strange heavy sentimentality that overwhelmed me. And I’ve had to say goodbye to many more things than stores. Closed doors. Relationships. Friends. Familiarity. “Home”. There were times in my life where I felt like I couldn’t stop mourning- I would finally finish mourning the loss of something, and then another thing would disappear from my life and the cycle just kept going.
But perhaps my experience of mourning so much (I’m not sure if it’s from an unhealthy disposition towards holding onto things too much or if i’ve really just been in a position to have to say goodbye to that many things) fits so much with community colleges. We watch people leave all the time. I watch my leaders leave so quickly- some to transfer, some back home, some back home to God. The student body seems so transitional, and I find myself really resenting it sometimes. It is easy to be in a constant state of mourning because of all the people I’ve seen who come and go. I can never hold very tight to things, and it often frustrates me. MiraCosta seems to be in an endless state of flux, constantly having to say goodbye to each new thing I’ve encountered, surrendered to the reality that I can’t keep things how I want them to be forever.
I’ve found, though, that the mourning is only one side to reality. As constant as the reality of mourning and the leaving is, the reality of the birth and new beginnings are just as constant. In fact, more constant. Hardly a dualism between death and regeneration, I’m starting to see that the movement of healing, redemption, hope and birth might just have the ability to completely overwhelm our experience of death and mourning.
As quickly as I see people leave, new people come. As quickly as God takes away, he gives again, better. At least that’s what I have to have faith for. Sometimes, in our present and past realities of brokenness, it is hard to see the present and future healing and redemption. But it is faith in that present and future reality of wholeness where we will no longer have to say goodbye that continues to drive me forward. These days, I find that I am no longer surrounded by death, but by the Kingdom of God ready to be birthed everywhere I look. I am challenged to see hope and life behind every disappointment and death.
The Smart & Final is leaving but in its place is a Henry’s, one of my favorite grocery stores. I can’t dwell on losing my discount bulk supplier, when what I get in exchange is a store with fresh produce, organic stuff and tons of more awesomeness.