I was sitting in front of the same old screen last night. I got so far as to open Blogger and then decided that, no it wouldn’t be the best idea. I was and am still entirely at a loss of what to say and how to describe finishing (YITS).

I surprised myself that there was no real crying and surprised myself further again that there was no huge feeling of loss. I cracked fractionally and felt as if I’d swallowed a pingpong ball when Kat was hugging me, bawling in my face and loving me with words. I had a strange response to Wednesday night, where I felt as if anyone dare to so touch me, or hug me or even maybe talk to me that I’d choke on over-sentimentality. It carried through to when I wandered up to the eating hall around 3:30am by myself to see if there was anyone I could be a silent companion with and if not, somewhere I could find space. It came through even to the following morning, where I flat refused Jess C and others ‘morning hugs’ with a, “No way, not in the mood” and ate cereal and drank tea without hardly a word to anyone

The camp was relatively unstructured with ‘Affirmation’ sessions. Three for our large group. We sat circular reminiscient of the Wednesday of mid-year camp and the person whose name was drawn from the tub was sat in the middle. I am still slightly unsure now as to what I think of the whole process. It was nice. It was quite moving with certain people, particularly those who had someone deeply impact their year. I had the last session and I’m pleased I had partial darkness (evening) as I sometimes find it a bit disconcerting looking people in the eye when they are saying something nice. It was okay. I didn’t feel elated or in a ‘bubble of niceness’ or however Jane explained it. I got Tom to scribe the lot for me as I would entirely forget otherwise, I’d rather look back on something later with some kind of memory aid and get more out of it than during the actual moment. The people I expected to talk did, which was good but well, expected. I found Mark probably the most encouraging as he is outside my immediate sphere of closer friends. The more external perspective was welcome. I let him know yesterday.

Tuesday. I went for a walk to the cliffs (the camp was at Anglesea) with a group of the girls and Matt. I walked with Clare on the way, I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with her this year it was definitely worthwhile finding out a bit more about where she is headed. She’s at Tabor next year so I dare say I’ll see her around if I drop by. Talked with Jane on the way back, someone who I should have spent more time with, she took the ‘preaffirmation’ thing to heart and said something to me before the night which was, I think far more valuable.

Dave and I pretty much annoyed eachother (good naturedly) most of camp. Spent a good hour or so with Jane, Dave and the others that joined us later (Rowan, Tracey, Michael, Dawn?) on the couch one evening talking everything from ‘hookups’ (none) and past YITS years, what could have been discussed but wasn’t, general relationships and other such things.

Wednesday morning, Lena (Ocean Grove facilliator) talked about God’s glory and pushed us out of the room to go and think about this year about being thankful and about where we are going to take things.

It forced me to go and talk intentionally with God. I’ve felt very removed from God for the past week or so and those times that I’ve tried, haven’t been very engaging. I took myself through where God has been throughout my year month by month. I came to how I was going to move on and reflecting on how through January to November I’ve asked God to show me the small ways (the ‘little things’) in how he is working. Wednesday night hit me like the flat of a hand when the majority of people’s ‘compliments/affirmation’ were around the little things I’d done for them this year. I didn’t realise it until I was thinking through it later. I am absolutely astounded sometimes at how God works.

Wednesday afternoon was spent at the beach. Much fun. Covered in sand from digging a massive hole. I went so far as waist deep into the water and no more as it was fairly cold. After we came back I sat and made Jessmyn play (piano) for me, not that she minded. Beautiful, manual jaw closing talent.

So, Wednesday night again. I sat for a long time in front of the fire listening to other people’s conversations and Laura and Tilla playing guitar and singing. Sad songs, ballardy songs they allowed me to simply not think and just listen.

Moving on? I made peace with God about it being the right time for this. Which might be why any sense of loss has been vastly lessened. Things have to end. This had to end, but will continue through the 39×10 different fingerprints left on my life.

I am a far richer person from having known them.
I am a far humbler person from having loved them.
I am a far more thankful person for having to listen to them.
I am indebted to how God has used them.

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