My “Why”

When I moved into my apartment to start my summer at PT, I found myself anxious and uncomfortable. Making new friends in new places has never been my favorite thing, and if I’m being honest with myself, it probably never will be. And somehow, that’s okay.

My first few days at PT were spent mourning the “loss” of my summer and nursing homesickness. I couldn’t find my “why.” I knew I signed up for PT for a reason, and I knew I was here to serve a purpose greater than myself, but why I had done it was beside me.

And then Day 1 happened.

Then Week 1.

I was finally able to sit down and journal over the weekend, and through a fog of exhaustion and tears of mixed emotions, I found my “why.”

I am here because of the faces.
The faces that have been so cleverly woven together and knit by our Creator.
The faces, with big eyes that light up at the sight of something I find so trivial.
The faces, with huge smiles that open to expel teeth that don’t know they are crooked or missing and the unmistakable sound of joy.
The faces, some more tired than others because they have witnessed more than their youth gives them credit for.
The faces are what keep me here.
When I become quickly frustrated, they forgive.
When I am upset, they soften and smile, reminding me of the important things.
When I am happy, they brighten and invite me to share my joy with them.
I am here because of the faces.

Thank you, God, for the faces and for the hungry minds behind the faces. May I never forget that they are looking up at me. May I never forget that they want nothing more than to smile with me and laugh with me. May I always remember that some of these faces have seen the unimaginable, and may my smiling face be a comfort for them every day.

And while on paper I may be serving and teaching children this summer, they are the ones teaching me what truly matters: patience, grace, love, and bold, unabashed joy.

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Mattie Clemmons, Education major at Trevecca Nazarene University, is serving at Trinity Community Commons in East Nashville this summer.

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