The last week of July that quickly bled into August was when I found myself in San Francisco. The week before SF, I found myself groaning while speaking with my best friend over the phone. I was slightly dreading going to San Francisco and investing in that place. In previous mission trips, I'd fallen deeply in love with Fresno and St. Louis. I mean, when you choose to raise money to go to a place, and to see the places people avoid and choose to open your eyes and heart to see the beauty there...well, you're kind of a goner.
I dreaded going to San Francisco, and falling in love with The City. I dreaded opening myself up to another city when I didn't know the longevity of my stay or impact. However, with six high schoolers, it's difficult to not be excited when visiting the City and what adventures we might find ourselves in. I braced myself for a difficult yet joyous week, committing that I'd never wanted to visit a city where I wouldn't be present to its realities.
Not surprisingly, I met some great families, communities, and had my heart stolen by a 6 year-old named, Bailey. Within the first 24 hours, I was cursing my soft heart that is so ready to love people, and empathize with their lives. It hurt to love someone so much in the span of a couple hours and have to say goodbye.
I've sometimes wondered about cutting off meeting new people and making new friends in light of Rachelle's death. It was easy loving Rachelle, but it's been one of the most miserable parts of my existence to lose her.
I seriously think about it for a bit, and let myself grieve deeply for what I've lost. Good friends are hard to find and keep, never mind losing them. Under any circumstances. I breathe deep, reminding myself that life is to be fought for, that people and friendship and love are to be fought for. It's not about me, it's about us and how we learn about God, hope, and joy... through each other.