When Gil started his job as HOPAC chaplain, he unintentionally woke up at 5 in the morning for the first two months. He was so full of ideas and excitement that he couldn’t sleep any later.
Gil’s mind works like a chess board; he is full of strategy and vision. He loves solving problems. (I’ve always said it’s a good thing he loves Jesus because he would have made a great bank robber.) So this young international school was exactly suited to how he is wired. And of course, since I was trained in education, I’ve been happy as a clam.
Obviously, Gil’s involuntary early mornings didn’t last forever. But the absolute assurance of God’s calling us to HOPAC did last. The times of tears and fear and frustration never changed that. We have always been completely confident that we are where God has wanted us to be.
And I don’t take that for granted. I know full well that the majority of the world must work because they must feed their families, not because they are called to their occupation. I understand how incredibly blessed we are to be able to do something that we love, that energizes and excites us.
Which is why it’s so hard to accept that we are leaving.
For 10 years, HOPAC has been our life. It’s practically all we talk about and think about and pray about. The community at HOPAC has been our family. We know almost every student (out of over 300) by name, and many of their parents as well. We’ve watched many of our students grow from 5 years old to 18 years old. We’ve been a part of the school growing in every area: sports, curriculum, numbers, buildings, God-centeredness. My children have been literally raised on the campus; they run free, I often can’t find them….though Josiah and Lily usually just sneak into first grade.
If you cut me open, HOPAC’s blood will run out.
The school feels like one of our children. When someone tries to harm this school in any way, my Mama Bear claws come out, even if it’s in an area I haven’t been involved in. Not that the school is perfect, but it’s my school. Don’t go messing with my school.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow, the new chaplain and his family arrive. And I must accept reality.
I’ve known for a very long time now that in June of 2013, we would leave HOPAC. I’ve known it in my head, but now it’s getting to my heart. Yes, we'll be back. And HOPAC will still be our kids' school. But it will be just that--our kids' school. Not ours. I won't know 300 students' names anymore.
This week, I’ve woken at 5 am on most days. This time, it’s my mind that’s spinning. Friday is the end of Term 2, the beginning of spring break. And the day the new chaplain arrives. The Beginning of the End. Three months left.
And the tears flow and my heart is heavy. I know it’s the right time; I know it. But letting go is still going to be really, really hard.