The surreal feelings that I think pulses through all of us as we wander campus and the city in our last few days is beginning to entirely sweep over me. I cannot believe that we have been here for over four months now. We’ve walked on countless cities and ruins. We’ve climbed mountains. We’ve been from Dan to Beer Sheba. We’ve seen things that some people will not see in their entire life. We’ve gained understanding that some will never have the blessing to hear.
If you had asked me about a year ago where I would be this spring 2010, I more than likely would have looked at you strangely and answered, “APU, where else would I go?” Last spring all of my roommates left to study abroad, so I was left alone, pretty bitter, and had no idea even where I desired to go despite the fact that I knew I wanted to go. But here I sit, in a library, half way across the world, steps away from the heart of Jerusalem. I know my way around directionally. I know some of the shopkeepers. I know kids who live in the city. While most of my knowledge of the city might be that of its ancient life, I live in its moden state. Just stating that seems unreal. Four months isn’t long enough to fully gain understanding of the fact that I am living amidst a city that screams the echos of its hugely significant history.
I’ve met a lot of people this semester. I hope with all my heart that they’re friendships won’t fade away. We’ve come to be a family of sorts. It’s going to be hard to leave them knowing that they live no where near my side of the country. Its a bit unfortunate that I get so sentimental at the end of the semester, because this semester is different than any other, causing for way more sentimentality than I can handle. Life will never be like this ever again. I will not be with this group of people in any context ever again. I will not be in Jerusalem with these same people either. These are memories that I will hold onto for a lifetime, and these people will not always be a flight of stairs away from where I am. That breaks my heart.
To resist thinking about that any further, I transition. This country is beautiful. It will hold a place in my heart for the rest of my life. The things I learned here have definitely altered the way I think and the way I read the Bible. I thank my Good God that I was able to be here this semester. It came at a perfect time.
So with a day between me and the wilderness of Jordan, I look forward to my coming home. I am excited to be where things are as I remember them. The issue with that is, that I am not sure things will be as I remember them. I am excited to see people at home. So yes, coming home will be thrilling. But, on the other, more bitter hand, it is going to kick my butt. I cannot imagine a time with these people here not in my life. And that time is steadily approaching. So for now, I enjoy my time with them and thank God for bringing them into my life even for a time. Please pray for my sanity and safety in Jordan as well as a smooth travel back into the states and that the transition wouldn’t smack me in the face too hard.