Thursday, December 27, 2007

Old Friends bringing Fresh Blessings

It has been great to be home and see old friends.

I was blessed to spend an entire day with Laura, a close high school friend who still lives in my hometown. Lunch with her family and an afternoon of Wii (my first time- it was SO fun!!!) was certainly as low-key as ever I could have asked for, and it was perfect. I really appreciate the opportunity to visit her “normal” household of children (her 2 girls are getting so big!!! And the 3rd is on the way!!!!), filled also with her 3 nieces this weekend. Sometimes, it makes me feel old that my closest friends are married and settled with children. Other times, like today, it relieves me that we are finally growing up, and while I’m not ready to have my own family yet, I feel increasingly blessed to be a part of theirs.

It was also good to see Amber- my best friend while in High School- who I only get to see about once each year. It is good to have friends who, no matter how seldom we are able to get together, never seem to change much. Even though we’ve both changed in astronomical ways since graduation, it seems we’ve changed in similar ways, which is amazing since we’ve always lived several states away from one another and never talk more than once every 3-6 months (that's probably an over-estimate).

I was thinking about this as I drove to have lunch with a college friend, Paula, who was also visiting family in the area. She’s such a great inspiration, and though she didn’t know it at the time, really was the first one to push me into considering more deeply who God is in my life and to the world. She’s one of those “crazy liberals” I love- she loves, and loves well, and can “speak the language” of a great diversity of people. As her ministry continues to grow, its going to be beautiful to watch. I can’t help but to wonder how very many people she has touched and blessed with her delicate, (at times unintentional?) ministry. I know I’m one of them… as we were discussing and recalling stories over lunch, I was reminded that she was the first person to “throw the stone” at me and wake me up to the fact that God is not actually a male (or a female)… and she always refers to God as “She.” Crazy to me to think that was then such an incredibly foreign idea…

Seeing old friends is absolutely invaluable. They know me from different places in my life. They have helped me to write new chapters of my book of life. They help me now to see the ways I have changed, grown, and even the ways I backslide. We all need people in our lives like that. I do not have many close “friends of the past,” but I am incredibly thankful for the ones I do have.

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