This summer, "our" kids from our youth ministry graduated. They were the class that we thought we would "retire" from youth ministry after they were gone. They were some of our first students. They were extremely loved and prayed over (as were all of our kids). Because of a few nasty people, all of our plans for serving those kids...went down the drain. In an instant. Instead, we had to love them from afar, and watch them grow up via facebook, messages, phone calls, and occasional visits. I am fairly certain that those kiddos have no idea how much they truly meant to me. I wish I could tell them how there were nights that I would cry myself to sleep, because I missed them and was angry at the men who put us and them in that situation. How I longed to be a part of all those major milestones in their highschool life.
Today, one of those seniors played in the state championship baseball game. While I was majorly proud of him, and loved every picture I saw, I also sobbed. I missed it. I didn't get to sit near his mom, and watch her bite her fingernails as he was up to bat and was walked to first. I didn't get to hug his neck and tell him how proud I was of his great accomplishment. I didn't get to sit with all of our teens and cheer together, wearing our blue! Instead, I sat by myself, with my Shakamak t-shirt on, and cried happy and sad tears. Messaging his Momma how happy I was for them and how I missed them so much. She wrote back, "I miss you too. Terribly."
Ministry, is sometimes incredibly sweet...and others...it is just sour. I miss my kids. I miss our friends in all of our ministries. I love it where we are. I love our church family. But today...I miss all of the others that we have had to say goodbye to.