Just a couple of months into my internship, one of our students chose to leave the program voluntarily. After his departure I struggled for months with grief and sorrow, a pain I was unfamiliar and uncomfortable with. I began to withdraw and struggled to engage fully in relationships with the students and others at the Ranch. I didn’t know what God expected of me and was unsure if I wanted to continue my internship past three months.
After much wrestling, I decided to recommit for three more months until graduation. In those three months I saw God move in amazing ways in my heart, life, and the lives of the students. He began to show me that my pain had a purpose. I experienced God’s patience and heart towards me. He didn’t expect me to fix myself, He wasn’t in a hurry, and He loved me in my sorrow as much as He did in my joy.
As I continued to reflect on this difficult time of internship, God brought me to the question “If you knew the outcome, would you have done anything differently?” After thinking on this, I realized that if I had known God was calling me to be obedient to show love to someone who would be so temporary I would have held back a lot. I would have loved differently knowing the pain it would bring after the loss. In realizing this I was led to a powerful truth of who Jesus is and the choice He made in loving us.
Olivia Crissman, one-year intern