By Lindsey Sermons
For anyone who has not yet heard, today is the last day I will spend among you as a member of the Trinity Center staff. Over the next few months, I will travel a bit and spend lots of time with my friends and family in Austin before leaving their presence. At the end of August, I will move to Kuwait to serve as a high school counselor at an international school. I am hugely excited for my next adventure, but that doesn’t make my heart any less heavy at the thought of closing out this chapter in my life.
I came here five and a half years ago, and since then have been striving to serve you and our community. But I don’t think I could ever give you what you’ve given to me. I see this as a shared home and refuge for all of us – I spend far more time here than I do in the house where my bed is. You’ve been my daily companions, comedians and comfort-providers as we’ve gathered in this sacred space.
You’ve taught me some of the most important lessons of my life thus far: you’ve opened my eyes to how cruel and unjust the world and the fates can be. You’ve also shown me how beautiful and full of light humans can be in response. You’ve shown me what authentic, mature and unwavering faith looks like.
Through you I’ve encountered the depths of pain, loss and heartbreak. And you have humbled me by sharing intimate parts of your lives and experiences with me. I’ve marveled at your persistence and survival, your hope and dignity. I’ve witnessed humility and kindness in the way you care for one another, and for us as a staff. You are some the best-humored people I know, and you’ve allowed me to laugh daily. But let’s be real – you also tested me. You showed me where my boundaries are, and you toughened me up.
Because of you, I’ve experienced gratitude on a greater scale – for the simplest of things (a warm cup of coffee, a quiet space, people who know us by name), and the most profound and necessary things (safety, health, love and acceptance).
As I anticipate making my departure from Austin, many times I have thought to myself that it was in this city that I grew up – inside these very walls. You showed me who I am and what I’m made of. You taught me who I want to be and where I’m headed. You assured me of my gifts, and you challenged me to use them to the best of my ability.
It is a privilege to be known and cared for by you; it is an honor to be associated with you. You’re my people, my tribe. Knowing that, as I leave, I take comfort in the words of the great Albus Dumbledore, who said, “The ones who love us never truly leave us, you can always find them in here.”
To finish, I’ll share with you a blessing that has traditionally been passed on by the Trinity Center staff anytime we part ways with a member of our team, and it encapsulates all that I want for you: “May the nourishment of the earth be yours. May the clarity of light be yours. May the fluency of the ocean be yours. May the protection of the ancestors be yours. And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life.”
Thank you for all that you’ve given me, and I wish you endless light and love in the years to come. I’ll be carrying you with me.
[Editor’s note: After 5 years as Trinity Center’s Operations Coordinator, Lindsey Sermons is leaving us for an exciting new adventure working overseas. She delivered this message Friday, May 11, as her final daily devotion to our neighbors. We will miss her even as we welcome Christian Rodriguez to our staff.]