Vacation was great. I promise to write more about it soon. However, there is something else I want to talk about right now. I spent a good portion of my day yesterday thinking about, talking to, and hanging out with the Steiner family. I have known Paul and Abigail since moving to college in August of 1997. Together they have impacted my life in so many ways, it's hard to put into words. They have guided me through some dark and scary and unsure times in my life and always been there for me through triumphs and tears.
They're planning on becoming full-time missionaries to Ireland. I am excited for them because this has been a dream for a long time. However, it looks like they could be leaving a lot sooner than anyone expected - as in the beginning of September. Paul has an interview on August 11 for a job as a Chaplain at the University of Dublin. It would be a serious answer to prayer for them to get this job and not have to raise quite as much money to go over there. However, if he gets the job, it starts at the beginning of September. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm praying hard that they do, but saying goodbye is going to be harder than I ever thought. I was babysitting their two children, Kadison & Kenyon, when it hit me. I love those kids and they're comfortable around me. We have a great time together and in the very near future, I won't get to see them as much and watch them as much.
And then Paul & Abigail got home last night and said they were talking on the way back from Indianapolis about things they'll miss. Paul said it made him sad that he won't be around to see me get engaged, much less married. I hadn't really thought about that until then. I used to think that Paul would be the one to do the ceremony and now knowing he won't even get to see it happen makes me sad. They have been so much a part of big moments in my life, I guess I had just always assumed they would be around for that one, as well. I know it's just a little thing in the whole scheme of what they're going to be doing in Ireland, but it just made my heart hurt last night.
I don't want to have to say goodbye to them, even though I know they are doing exactly what God would have them do. And, for that, I can rejoice. I can be glad and excited to see what the future holds and the impact they're going to make in the world. The reality is, however, that they're planning on moving, and they're not really planning on moving back to the states. During his last trip, Paul made a DVD to give to churches that are considering supporting their mission. The song that he chose to play at the beginning is beautiful and haunting. If I could figure out how to post it here, I would. It's Celtic, by a group called IONA. The song is "Dancing on the Walls" and the first stanza is this:
It started with a dream I could see it all
I had a vision and I heard You call me
Now the dream is over but the voice remains
I am part of something that is going to change things
For the better
Going to change things for the better
And I hear You call
And I see You dancing
Dancing on the wall
The whole song is like this and could not be a better fit. It is with love and joy and sadness that I look toward the next 6 weeks.