You know, there is a pain behind the glamour of expansion. For people like me, this pain is something that is hard to see because we are so focused on the vision for our mission. From a young age I have been labeled a dreamer because I can so easily see the bigger vision for the projects I am apart of. Pancake Peeps has been no different. When I just started volunteering almost four years ago I was so overwhelmed by the needs of the people we served. I instantly started dreaming up ideas for how we can meet those needs. Through the grace of the Lord (and lots of trials and even more errors) I realized the first step to solving any problem is really to start smaller. We need to find the root cause of the needs rather than try to tackle them at a higher level.
This realization is what made me so passionate about the relationship aspect of Pancake Peeps. So many times I meet someone whose root need is a relationship with another human. Once I realized this, I was able to set those greater dreams aside and focus on one smaller (but even more important) tangible need. We love relationships. Pancakes is built upon the relationships we have created and sustained. This piece of Pancakes has not and will not every change.
Now fast forward to a month ago. For a dreamer like me the opportunity to expand and reach a whole new group of people is like telling a child they get to have recess all day long. 220 more people will get to have pancakes. We will have the chance to meet 220 more people and create meaningful relationships with all of them (or most of them at least). For me there was no downside.
Fast forward again to this past week. All week I found myself thinking more and more about my friends from our Downtown location. I found myself wondering about Brooklyn, and Agnus, and Pikachu. I started to realize the natural effect of expansion. Someone was going to have to move on. Maybe not on a full time basis, but someone has to oversee our new location, and that person is me. Please do not get me wrong. I love everything about our new location. Showing up this week and seeing double the kids ready to play and color and sing with us made my heart so full. Seeing the thankful people and hearing a dozen new stories made the dreamer in me flourish with excitement. BUT this does not mean I have forgotten my friends from the old spot. My heart hurts with the realization that I will not get to see them as often as before. It makes me realize the sacrifice of community that expansion has on the person doing the expanding.
Do I regret expanding at all? HECK NO! I get to see and meet so many new people and watch as a new group of volunteers make new meaningful relationships with their friends. I get to see 40 new little faces light up when we make them dog and disney pancakes. Those are the visions and dreams God put inside me and I cannot express how blessed I feel that He has let me see them come to fruition. But the pain of missing my friends is real. Finding the balance between creating new relationships and sustaining old ones will have to come.
One thing I do know is that the Lord has been giving me peace in knowing that although I may not see my old friends for a while, His goodness will allow me to see them again.
Until next week mis amigos,