So, I'm a romantic. I dream and wonder when I'm going to meet the man of my dreams, and hope that it will happen, and someday soon. And while I am happy for my friends whose dreams come true, it does get challenging to watch another holiday season pass without an engagement ring, another New Year greeted without a kiss, another Valentine's Day without true love and high adventure, another late-April birthday (that I am realizing comes at the beginning of "wedding season") without actual wedding plans. I've spent a lot of time in the past year praying and hoping that it would have been the year for me, somehow, someway, with someone.
But you know what else I spent the past year praying and hoping about? My teenage friends in Fort Wayne. They've become incredibly important and precious to me, and most of the creative thoughts and exciting plans and intense prayers and sleepless nights I've had, have been about them. How can I love them more? How can I show them that love more? How can I show them God's love for them more? How can I get others involved in their lives? How can I help other people see in them the amazing things God has shown me? They are what I miss the most when I'm not in Fort Wayne. They make me crazy, and hyper, and exhausted, all at once. They give me strength and a reason to stick around indefinitely, even when my wanderlusting soul wants to keep moving and not sit still.
So I didn't fall in love this year with the man of my dreams. But God gave me a deep and profound love for a group of kids... something I didn't think He could do again, after I had to leave the kids I love so much in Winston-Salem. Those kids are growing up now and moving on with their lives - going to college, getting married, getting jobs, joining the military - and when I see them, my heart bursts with joy and breaks with love for them. They'll always be my kids, and I'll cherish the time we had together, and I will continue to pray for them and cheer for them... but now God has given me a new group of kids to love, too.
And just today, He made me realize that right now in my life, this is the true love he has for me; these are the people I need to invest my love in wholeheartedly, without having to share that love with someone else. His love is true... the truest love there is. And he's given that love to me. And I'm going to give it to them.