I guess it started yesterday. In a matter of 24 hours, I received a letter from one, had lunch with a second, skyped a third, had a text conversation with a fourth, and facebook-messaged a fifth.
I miss seeing Stephanie's beautiful acts of service.
Kirstin's joy and laughter.
The way Grace made us all smile.
Mario's deep insights.
John's quiet leadership.
Josh's strong example.
Peter's philosophical musings.
Yes, I can honestly say that I think of these people (and all the others who walked with us) like family. I learned so much from each and every one of them. I learned faith, respect, and genuine love. I learned how to set boundaries, how to respect others' boundaries, and how to open up my preconceived notions of "the perfect boundary". They helped me change some of my views, while other views were made stronger. (**) I learned how to share a space the size of a postage stamp with 12 people at the same time. This group helped me through some extremely difficult moments, and they were all there rejoicing with me at other times. They let me into their lives, and I have gladly let them into mine as well.
Not all groups of people would gel as well as we did. Not all past Crossroads teams had the amazing experience that we did. I'm guessing that if many other groups were faced with our "hell week", they might have packed up and gone home right then. But because we supported each other, suffered with each other, and lifted each other up in prayer, we made it through that week, and we all grew and became stronger because of it.
~~~~~~~~You guys have become my second family. I thank God every day that He brought you into my life. I'm sorry that I don't get to talk to some of you as often as I'd like, but that doesn't mean that I've forgotten about you. This summer was by far the best summer I've ever had, and I hope many more Northern Crossroads teams after us have the wonderful times and crazy adventures that we did.
I love you, Grace, Kirstin, Stephanie, Amanda, Claire, John, Peter, Zechariah, Father Dave, Mario, Josh, Dan, and Alex. Thank you all for being... you.
*and yes, even though they weren't with us the entire time, I miss Zechariah, Amanda, Daniel, Alexander, Father Dave, and Claire as well... I didn't forget you!!
**I first wrote "solidified", but that gave me an awkward feeling.... WHY JOSH WHY?!?