Sunday, August 1, 2010

friends

"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh... blessed be the name of the Lord."

Anne and her boys with me and my two at the time

I had a lump in my throat while trying to keep my watering eyes from spilling into the sobs I felt inside as my best friend got back in her car to return to her home which was no longer next door to mine.  She had driven almost three hours just to spend the day together.  She gets me.  She gets my life.  I was heartbroken when I realized we wouldn't be able to drive back to Greenville to see our friends this summer as Abby just wouldn't tolerate any more change than we had already thrown at her.  I could wrap my mind around the fact that it wasn't going to happen and reason it as a fact logically, but my heart revealed otherwise.  We hadn't been there in two years.

Josh and Renae's Dawson with my Abby
 I sent a message to a couple of friends letting them know we were going to be in Atlanta if they could make the trip, knowing it was asking a lot and highly unlikely as they both had their own lives that would make it difficult.  We took for granted that when we moved back to MN we'd be able to connect with people the way we did in VA and SC.  These people were the kind of people who could've raised our kids and barely skipped a beat.  We didn't have to go anywhere special to have fun.  We just had to be together.  Our best times were around a table eating wings for our adopted "family night" or sipping tea and eating chocolates after the kids were finally in bed  It's funny how after our second move we still have friends who carry part of our hearts with them.

Leaving VA was bittersweet.  We were so ready to start our new life together after college that we didn't realize the family we left behind.  After burying our adopted "dad" we mourned from a distance as we couldn't even make the trip to honor that man.  His daughter was like a sister to me and I feel as though we remain woven together at the heart even though we can barely see one another.
Angie and me with our kids the last time we were together

I've been on autopilot since spending that day with Anne since I just took it in and wouldn't let myself think about it.  We didn't do anything extraordinary.  We spend the day out on the screen porch sipping tea and looking as scrapbooks of the past years that I've missed.  She's the one who hears what I'm not saying.  She asks me the tough questions like if I'm tending to myself and how my marriage is holding up.

Smile... I miss her.  I didn't let myself realize how much until we had that time together.  Maybe that is why I miss friendships so much here.  I've been so busy that I haven't realized just how deprived my heart has been. I had replaced friends with family which is a huge blessing to have family that are actually true friends too.

As my brother gets ready to take a permanent position in the Twin Cities I feel the weight of his absence even before he leaves.  Truthfully he has been in and out on a regular basis for the past five years, but it was different when he was working out of town as opposed to making a life somewhere else.  Don't get me wrong, I'm the one who encouraged the loyal-to-a-fault boy to go wherever the Lord wanted him to because He would take care of me(us).  Knowing full well that he moved back to Duluth to help us when we came.  We were a train wreck and he ran to the rescue rather than away.  It's time for him to go, and I know it's not far; but, I will miss him like crazy.
My best girlfriend and sister

It seems that my life up until now has been a series of a few close friends wherever I lived.  Even growing up I met my best friend on our first outing as officially in the youth group at church.  Jess and I were paired in a canoe which turned into a funny story as the life jacket brought out her claustrophobia.... the rest is history.  It was just us from there on.  She now lives but a few hours away, but it's amazing how little we actually get to see each other.
siblings and friends

As if this wasn't already the longest post I've written, I must go on.  We went out with friends last night.  We have a lot of friends.  Mostly, what we would call "high five" friends, but friends all the same.  We've kind of gone in the direction of opening our lives up to people.  We've decided that we need a lot of friends so we don't overwhelm.  We have people over.  We invite people out to dinner.  We host parties.  We have a lot of people we truly care about and thoroughly enjoy.

We've found people once again to do life with.  The element that has been missing is people who are in the same stage of life, dealing with more than the average dose of crazy.  Crying one moment and laughing hysterically the next.  The pleasantries of shallow water walkers annoy them as much as it does us.  We'd resigned ourselves to the fact that we like ourselves and nobody will ever understand us in our life.  I guess I didn't like feeling like an island, but was okay if that was the direction He had for us.  Once again He has blessed us exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.  I wonder at the possibility of having friends like this to grow old with or simply for a season.  Either way, I don't think I'll take these friendships for granted as I know how passing they can be.

With a grateful heart and some tears of joys past and present...
Thank you for your friendships

3 comments:

  1. Hello sweet lady! You are a treasure. You have made a lasting impact on my life and continue to do so. Some of the best teaching years I had were with you. :)
    Seems like those heart-bonded friends that God gives us through our lives are an image in part of our best FRIEND. There will be a day after this journey when all will be balanced and in order. I just wanted to tell you I am thankful for the short but joyous hours Gods allowed me to work with you. May His grace be new and endless each moment of your day. Knowing and thankful that you reflect HIS glory. Love you!

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  2. ohhh! I count you among those treasured friendships. You've challenged me as a mother more than once. Thanks for being such a stellar example of a life sold out to Christ. Love you!

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  3. I can so completely relate to this! We developed such a close second family in Nashville. Our church and friends there were so amazing and so completely came together to meet our needs and help us in our darkest hours. I love my family, but they can't be a substitute for true, kindred soul friendship. But, friends can never replace family either. I can feel how torn you are because I feel that way accutely now too. I know we need to be here - with my family. But I mourn the loss of being with my friends and worshiping with our brothers and sisters in Christ at a church we adored. Sometimes I wonder at the logic of it - why would God make me be in this position? But I am sure it goes along with a lesson I must learn (or lessons). Thank God we will all be together forever someday...

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