This post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclaimer here.
I will never meet most of the people I’ve worked with while here at Camp Restore. Phone calls and emails forged bonds between strangers from all over the country. I may talk to Sarah like we’re best friends, but I wouldn’t know her from Eve. In a weird way, I’ll miss all those strangers.
Everyone placed bets on when I’d return to Texas, but I don’t think anyone saw my love affair on the horizon. It changed my plans to settle here in New Orleans for the next couple years.
I always assumed I would be the type of woman who would choose career over love. After many nights of prayer after break ups, I knew for certain God wouldn’t give me my husband until I was much older. Maybe 26 at the earliest. I would focus on graduating and finding a good job until then. My practical, logical ISTJ side focused on finding a reliable income, not to be swept away by the frivolous whimsy of love. The first night Heath and I ever hung out as friends (seven months-to the day-prior to our first kiss) he told me I was too uptight. He spit out the dirty word like it was brussel sprouts.
He was right. I spent all of my free time working or laying on my couch recuperating from working. I loved my job and my co-workers and I spent most of my days on campus in our office.
After dating for a while, he changed all of that. He makes me work harder and inspires me daily, but reminds me what’s really important. It isn’t planning the future down to every small detail like I so fervently practiced. It’s people. Relationships. Family.
When I sent the email to all the leaders of our future volunteer groups to tell them I quit my job, I began it the only way I knew how:
As some of you may already know, I’ve fallen madly in love.
The responses warmed my heart.
“Congratulations Alyssa!! I am sad we won’t be able to meet you in person when we return to Camp Restore in April, but am very happy for you and your decision!”
“Congrats Alyssa! It’s not every day one gets such a great e-mail. Blessings on your move!”
“We wish you the very best, it was great working with you, and we will miss you. You’ve met your true love, God bless you.”
“Congratulations on your “love life”!”
When given the chance, people amaze you with their kindness. But one response really made me stop and think.
“I don’t know you and have only briefly worked with you over email, but I have to say I love this email (not because you are leaving, but because you have fallen madly in love and seem to know what is important).”
Love is most important.
I wish I could say I’m moving back to Texas with a plan and consistent income and security, but I’m not. I’m driving back without a clue of how I’ll pay rent or what I’ll be doing in three months. Yes, it’s as terrifying as it sounds. But I think God creates magic when we invest in people more than we invest our money. When we stop thinking about my security, my success, my timeline, and start thinking about who we can touch with our lives.
Fears will always creep into our minds making us wonder if love or risk or living are worth the high cost of uncertainty. The answer is yes. People are always worth it. Maybe you’ll email 89 strangers and a single response will teach you all this. People may surprise you. You may surprise you.