We are moving away in just a little over a week. Every move makes me think about the people God brings into our lives. I think about the friendships that have been made while I was in a certain place. In the past few days I have thought about how blessed I have been to have special friends in each place that God has allowed me to live.
This week I have thought about my childhood friends. I only had a few. That was over 30 years ago; and typing that number just brought a little bit of pain to my heart. 30! I had my girl friend Eden who was the exact opposite of me. (Quiet, reserved and with a logical head on her shoulders). What fun we had growing up together. We sewed doll clothes together, played house and rode our wagons down the hill outside her house. Building a friendship and memories every step of the way. I had my girlfriend Anna. I think that in all my days since graduation I have not talked to anyone as much and as long as Anna and I talked. We shared elementary days together - gym, homework and recess. We had sleepovers and quiz team that brought us closer and allowed us to talk and dream about the future. Our lives. We talked about what we wanted to do with our lives. It is funny to look back and to realize that a lot of the things we wanted to do when we were 'grown up' we are doing right now. We are living the lives we dreamed about in junior high.
I had a special friends with whom I shared my life in Fargo. We laughed together, cried together and wondered how we were going to navigate through the waters of motherhood. There were Sunday nights after church when we went to the Mexican restaurant and talked and talked. There were the hard times. My friendships deepened after Ally died. My friends were there for me when I cried, questioned and felt that there was no way I could go on. I did. My friends helped me. Sisters in Christ. Living life had brought us together. That was over 10 years ago.
Then God moved us to Kaukauna. In time, God changed our life a bit and I was suddenly the Pastor's wife. A role that while I took seriously, I was terrified of. I wanted to be friends with the ladies in our church - not their pastor's wife. During our years there God showed me that the pastoring was my husband's God given responsibility, being a wife and mother and friend to others was mine. So, in the years we were there God gave me many friends. More than I ever thought possible. There were ladies Bible studies, coffee dates, laughing with a girlfriend until late in the evening. There were tears as funerals were planned and held. Friendships deepen then. I found that I did not have one special friend - I had been blessed with lots of friends. That was wonderful! I will cherish my friendships made there.
Then God moved us to Mayville. My circle of influence has been smaller; but I have been blessed with deep friendships. Friends who made trips to the hospital late at night to sit with me when Rachel was sick. Friends who cared enough about me to make the drive out to the country to share a meal, a holiday or just a cup of coffee. I have friends here that while I don't think I can adequately put it into words - I am going to miss so very very much.
So, I have been thinking a lot about friendships. The ones I have been blessed with through the years. Each place God has taken me. My life is richer, deeper and more sane because of the friendships I have had in each place. And, as I pack the boxes of my house I have thought of each of you. My childhood friends, my Fargo friends, my Kaukauna friends my Mayville friends - and I have missed all of you all over again. But - I have been thankful for each of you. You all have been in my thoughts this week.
Thanks for the memories.
Thanks for the laughs.
Thanks for the sacrifices you have made for me.
Thanks for challenging me when I have been thinking incorrectly and for caring enough to give me truth.
Thanks for investing in my life. I am so blessed to know each and everyone of you.
So, as I pack and remember and think about all of you - I am challenged anew to put relationships as a top priority in my life. Because locations change. Ministries change. But in the end, relationships last forever. We take them with us wherever we go. I am the person I am today because of the relationships I have had in my entire lifetime.