|My daughter and I in front of my childhood home.|
As I aged I had many friends through our group of home school friends, through ballet and through other various activities. I also had a sister who still lived at home, which I realize now fit the "best friend" role perfectly if I'd only had the maturity to recognize it! She later married and so had her own live in best friend leaving me with the last year of high school as a single child! I remember it being a lonely time. I had friends, good friends, but I was lonely.
It wasn't until my freshman year of college that God granted me the friend that I had been so desperately longing for. She is the jam to my peanut butter, the creamer to my coffee, the Diana to my Anne. We had two and a half years of college together before she transferred to a school in Oklahoma. I felt like my heart was going to explode from the sadness. I almost transferred too. I remember making her a mix tape. I kid you not. It had songs that we both loved on one side, and the other side had songs like "How Do I Live Without You." Was it cheesy, sappy, and way over the top? Yes, but it was how I felt!
We have stayed in touch and this past October I actually got to spend some time with her and her family in Oklahoma. It was fantastic to see our kids playing together! She is still my "kindred spirit" and always will be, but life has us in two different places right now. As much as I'd like to say that distance doesn't matter, it does. We both celebrate our 40th birthdays this year and plant to get together at some point to celebrate in the place where it all began for us; Portland. When we are together it's like we've never been apart and I love that. I cherish every opportunity we have to strengthen one another.
Years ago when I was attending a MOPS group we had a lovely woman come speak to us about the topic "The Seasons of Friendship". It was beautiful and profound. The wisdom she shared about embracing every friendship in their seasons has stayed with me. During my 12 years in Sacramento I built deep and lasting friendships with people I pray I never loose touch with. Each of these friendships have touched my life and my family in different ways. Those friendships went through seasons as well, with patches of shallow, deep, hurt, camaraderie, closeness and turmoil.
And then we moved. We moved to a new town, new church, new school, new weather, new carrier path, new normal for everything! And once more I found myself lonely. We've been here over five years now and God has answered my prayer for deep and lasting friendships, but here's what I've learned through it all.
From the beginning, there was only one constant friend. Even now, with the beautiful friendships I've made and maintained, there's only one constant. Jesus. Jesus has taken on many forms in my life. Looking back I can see Jesus in the loneliness, I can see Him in my best friend, I can see Him in my church family, the move, the friendships He provides and the constant way He loves me.
So if you have friendships, deep and lasting friendships, take a moment to realize the value they bring to your life. Real friends are hard to find, so tell them you love them, value them and let them bless you during this season. You never know when the seasons will change.