Moving on is not easy! Since Thursday I have been trying to get my classroom packed up, and ready for the summer, as well as making sure everything was reasonably able to be found by the teacher coming in to 4th grade next year. I don't think I realised how difficult it would be. Yesterday, after I popped into the office and picked a couple of items out of my "mailbox" was the point when the finality of it really hit me. Today, I finally finished. All that is left to do is hand in my "inventory" and keys, and then I'm done. After 3 and a half years, it was really hard to leave. In a way I'm glad my kids were happy to just come in and get their report cards, play for a while and then head home on Friday. A few were a little sad, but most of them were pretty OK with it. I guess they have seen so many teachers come and go over the years that they have been at Logos that it's pretty normal for them. They'll have a new teacher for 5th grade next year, but will still have the same music, art, and PE teachers, and most of the Khmer staff will be the same as well. I think it's been harder for me than it is for them. I guess that in a way I'm fortunate, because I will still have some contact with some of them, through church or personal friendships, and I will still be in the same country, so bumping into them at the markets isn't an impossibility either. OK. I guess that the time has come to move on, and focus on the good things that are to come.
When August/September comes around I will have a whole new class of children to love and teach. I'm so glad that God has made it possible for me to teach 3rd grade next year. I'm looking forward to visiting my new school this week, and meeting some of the people who will be my new colleagues.
The other challenge for today was saying farewell to people in my church family at the ICF who are going on home assignment for the coming year. Some I knew about, but some I didn't realise were leaving. That's one of the ongoing challenges of being part of an expat community. People are always moving in and out. In a way, you are almost always in some stage of transition in one relationship or another. When you are an introvert, and take a while to get to know people anyway, it's always a challenge when those you are comfortable with leave and new folk move in. At the same time, I have to praise God for the blessing that some of these people have been to me. Yes, I will miss them, but I know that there is one person who will never leave me to go on home assignment. Yes, I can be sure that God will never leave me, and that He will always provide for all I need, and that includes friends I can trust and feel comfortable with, and whom I respect enough to accept correction from. Not only that, but at the same time as He is with me, He will be with them too, as they go through the transitions that face them in the days and weeks to come. How do people ever survive without a relationship with the living God? He's the only one who never changes, is always with us, and accepts us just as we are (because of Jesus' sacrifice). I'm so glad I know Him, and I look forward to getting to know Him even better this "summer".