Yesterday was our sharing Sunday at church, a chance to tell the church congregation all about our experiences on the trip. Like I said before, my youth pastor had asked me to talk about working with the kids at Grace Point. It took me over the course of 2 days to write down what I was going to say, and even then it didn't totally cover exactly how I felt, but it came as close as I could with only mere words.
That morning I was a bundle of nerves. I wasn't really nervous until that point, but that morning, it was definatly real. We prayed before the service, all 12 of us gathered around a table in the back. We practised where we would stand to sing, where we would stand to speak, where we would sit when other people spoke, where we would sit when the slide shows played, things of the sort. Finally the service began.
Thank goodness I was scheduled to go near the begining (Third in) because I don't think I could have handled sitting there with all my nerves any longer. I fidgeted in my seat as the two people before me gave their speeches. Finally it was my turn. Taking a deep breath, I stood. It was then I heard the whispered encouragement from the person sitting next to me, "You'll do fine, I promise."
Those were the words that carried me through my speech, as I clung to the podium, my legs shaking violently. Those were the words I held on to as I hurried through my speech (Only stopping to breathe 3 times, according to one of my other team mates, I was told. Apparently I talk really fast when I'm nervous.) Those were the words swirling around in my head as I returned to my seat once I had finished, my legs still shaking, my head still light. And as my team mates offered their congratulations, I realized this said person had been right, I was fine.
During everyone else's speeches, we talked silently among ourselves. We talked about being nervous, offering each other whispered words of encouragement. We tried to decide who would cry as they were talking, and pointed out whose mom was crying at that moment. I think our casual conversation was a way to ease the nerves we felt.
Now Sharing Sunday is over, and I almost want it not to be. Not that I particularly enjoyed those crazy nerves, but because now we're all going our seperate ways. After appx. 6 months with these guys, it's all over. We're all going our seperate ways, to college or back to school, back to the hectic schedule of our lives.
I've grown to love these people more then I ever thought I would. They're like family to me now, and after everything we've shared, it's hard to be moving on.