I just finished writing a series of personal letters to the special young people in my life whom I will be leaving behind when we move.  We lived in our previous home for over six years and in that time I had the privilege of watching small children grow into bigger ones at church.  I invested in the lives of children and teens alike by teaching Sunday School (and being the sort of resident Mom in our children’s ministry), teaching and serving alongside teens, and helping out at youth group.  These relationships have spanned years and it’s hard to think about leaving these kids, preteens and teens behind.

Reminiscing about those times, I feel like it’s what God put me on this earth to do.  No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I’m drawn to young people instinctively and can’t help but build relationships with them.  I enjoy learning about life and God with them; introducing ideas to them; helping them grasp new concepts; investing in them relationally/spiritually/emotionally, and just having fun with them.

I feel like I need to say a special goodbye to these young people.  As someone who has sought to cultivate meaningful relationships with them and be a steady adult in their life, I feel like they need an explanation from me.  I also wanted to remind them that they are important to me, that we can stay in touch if they want, to encourage them in their relationship with God, and appreciate who they are.  They need to know that I will miss them and that I valued the good times that we spent together.

For some reason, God has seen fit to send a lot of amazing kids into my life.  I’ve tried to be a positive influence in their lives for the time we’ve had together and I hope that God will use those seeds in the future.  I hope for all the best for these young people and will miss them tremendously!

I cried over each letter as I remembered the shared memories over the years, the laughs, the silly and the serious times.  It makes me feel grieved to see an end to those regular relationships.  I know that there will be other young people to invest in on a regular basis in my future, but right now I’m mourning the ones that I’m losing.

“They embraced in parting. There were tears in the merchant’s eyes:
“I do not like parting.”
“Life consists of partings,” said Arseny. “But you can rejoice more fully in companionship when you remember that.”

Eugene Vodolazkin, Laurus


About daisyraytheclown

I'm mom to five energetic kids who keep me hopping all day long.

2 responses »

  1. Lisa Gertz says:

    Oh, sweet Lori, you’re amazing. Speaking as one of ‘the kids’ who was *invested* in by a few women like you, between the ages of 10 and 14 (and actually spanned the long-distance gap of our move to Nigeria through a few letters and visits), can I just say THANK YOU? That might sound weird since I’m not *your* invested-in kid, but I can say that it means the world to young people to have interested and caring adults love on them. And then for you to write letters of “closure” is also incredible. I have a few handwritten letters from my youth group leader friends and I still treasure them to this day. (They probably don’t know!) Seeing their memories, their encouragement, their actual handwriting was SO precious to me at the time, and they’ve remained in my box of treasured items. I’m sorry you have to say goodbye. I really am. It’s quite a feat to have known– really known — these kids for 6 transformative years. But you’ve given them a good solid foundation of love and relationship. I bet they will always remember you and look to you as a trusted comfort/model in their future lives. (I still think of my friends as go-to counselors and in fact called one last year, in desperate tears.) Love you!

    • daisyraytheclown says:

      Thanks Lisa! I remember a few times during my youth group years when a couple of the lady leaders took a few of us girls shopping and out to eat. It was a really awesome treat for us! It really does make you feel good when you’re in those teen years to know that there is an adult who is willing to put in the time and effort to show you that they care. 🙂

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