This past week I had to say goodbye to someone who has had a huge impact on my life. People keep telling me that I am being dramatic and that there is a large possibility I will see him again, but for me, there is also a large possibility I won’t see him again – ever. Obviously, I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me or him for that matter. But, if he continues on his journey and I do as well, there is definitely a chance we will never meet again.
This man is a huge part of my “conversion” story and has been along for the ride ever since, even through my difficult angsty years. He met me when I wasn’t sure God existed at all and I saw no worth in myself. That first day he made me feel important and loved, even though he knew nothing about me, not even my name. Over the next two years, he helped me to see potential in myself because he saw it there. He gave me opportunities to lead and challenged me to grow deeper in my faith. By his example, he taught me how to pray and how to lead. He showed me that joy comes from following the Lord. He supported me through my horrendous first year of college and gave me a place of solace when I came home for the next three years. He continued to challenge me and was the first person to push me to look deeper into my own vocation. There were times over the years where I didn’t like him and I’m sure there were times when he wanted to give up on me, but he never did. I am blessed to have been able to know him for six years and I pray that he continues to be that light for others as he pursues the Lord in religious life and eventually (God willing) the priesthood.
My heart is heavy knowing I won’t be able to call him up at anytime for advice or support or just to rant. But, I am so proud of him and his choice to follow the Lord wherever He leads.
This goodbye is hitting harder because I could be in his position in just about a year if I am accepted. It’s easy on my side of things right now because I’m only saying goodbye to one person. He’s had to say goodbye to everyone and I can imagine how that has to feel. This life is full of so many sacrifices. But if we make them for the right reasons, usually, they are easier to bear. I pray that if/when I get to this point I will have the strength to bear the cross so that I can reach the ultimate goal and find peace.