For the past year, I have faced the toughest battles of my life to date. Anxiety. Depression. The constant thought of not feeling like I’m (good) ENOUGH. I’m exhausted.
But as I was leaving DC, I found myself asking Did Moses cry when he left Egypt?
I cried over leaving two of my very best friends in DC.
I cried because I truly LOVE the city of DC and have gotten to know so many parts through my travels and work experience in DC. Four years of traveling around the city by walking, biking, Ubering, driving, and taking the bus. I saw the expanse of the four corners of the city I had come to love. I taught in SE, NW, and NE DC. I spent enough time at Nats Stadium to claim SW, too.
Cue the Prayer of Jabez/expanding my territory:
1 Chronicles 4.10 (NIV): Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
I cried a lot leaving DC, which I honestly was not expecting. (However, I took four days to go back to DC in December/January and I cried every day knowing what I was going back to…). I’ve known for a while that DC was not a good fit for me. I compared it to an abusive relationship, and that makes the most sense – there have been really BEAUTIFUL moments – but there have also been really, really crappy moments. I am not my best self in DC, so in order to take care of myself, I have to move on.
I cried for the children I taught (K, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade – I was leaving behind a SCHOOL of MY kids).
I cried for a lack of peace in the city.
That is my prayer for DC: PEACE. When Jesus was having final conversations with his disciples, he prayed for them to have peace as He left them. He promised that the Holy Spirit would remind them of his teachings. The same is true for my students: prayers for peace in a non-peaceful community and city.
John 14.27 (NIV): Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14.27 (MSG): That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.
I think Moses cried bringing people into freedom… and that’s ok.