Monday, August 9, 2010

Friend in the rearview mirror

To the casual observer the sign says 
"For Sale,"
but it taunts me with it's true meaning~
"It's now official, 
your friend is leaving,” 
and “Yep, this really is happening.

The sign can be found at the intersection of things you pray for someone else and things you selfishly don't want to happen...

Truth be told, I saw God putting up His own signs from the beginning... When the conversations about applying for jobs out of state started, I knew... knew in my heart that God was going to give this family a much needed new start... knew that He was about to launch an awesome season of blessing on them, because when God moves on a situation, it is always best for all those involved. God is awesome that way, loves all His children equally. {Although, for the record, this does not work out best for me :))}

I have always thought that goodbyes season life. They force things to their crisis and remind you how important the things you get used to having really are. So now in the coming weeks I will have to say goodbye to my friend...

My friend... who has known me since I was 18. The one I laugh with as if we still are. Our husbands generally check out of the conversation when our laughter reaches it's high pitched crescendo, with my husband swearing at this point the only people who can still understand what we are saying is the two of us.

It is a luxury to have someone stay in your life that long. You get to joyously straddle the past and present. You can travel to a time when it was just the two of you hanging out with nowhere to go, nothing to do, (unless college classes count :)) mixed with a whole lot of stupidity, then find yourself returning to the present where you can respect each other for the people you have now become.

My friend... whose remaining presence in my life I swear can be chalked up to her famed love for driving. When I moved out of state myself for a brief time, she always drove to see me in what turned out to be some of the loneliest times of my life. Were it not for that fact, we would probably would have fallen out of touch since my hatred for driving is just as famous. 

My friend... who drove an hour this past May to be with me in the hospital while I had my first child and stayed all night until the baby arrived, even though she didn't get any sleep herself and had to drive straight home and take care of her own three children. And never mind the rather spartan accommodations of the waiting room where she sat for hours...

My friend... who is braver than I, for moving hours away from everything that she has known in order to start again.

My friend... who proved my belief that when you have a commonality in Christ, the friendship will always stand. No matter time or distance between us, we have always just picked up where we left off.  A fact that will comfort me in the days to come. 

Because life isn't Facebook. It is not a numbers game, where all that matters is that your count stays consistent. In the real world, people aren't replaced.  As someone I know once said, the flavor will never be the same as when you were here. Other people will come and go and there will be plenty of good moments to spread around, but it will never taste the same. Each person brings their own set of gifts and personality to season your life and when change occurs, the recipe is most decidedly not the same. It is a beautiful thing knowing your spot is always reserved.

So here's to you, B~
~for all the long drives, with the windows down, and great music on the stereo.
~for testing with me whether or not 25 mph truly was as slow as it felt in a car, by attempting to run it. I will never forget the sight of you in the rearview mirror. :P (Nobody would ever really believe us  that we didn't drink at all.)
~for thinking that Communion would satisfy your hunger and asking me, “when can we eat?” while the prayer was taking place. Nice one. 
~for your consistent passion for Jesus and a heart that chases Him.
~for loving me enough to give me the space and grace to just “be.” I have been afforded that more than I have deserved.  

When I look out from where we are, over the expanse of where we have been, my heart is glad for all of the miles we have pounded out together. And the knowledge there will be more. 

God bless this new chapter in your life. Who knows, He may even perform the miracle of my driving for ten hours.


B said...

You have my daughter thinking I am manic because as I sat and read this.. I was laughing and crying my eyes out at the same time! :) I am so going to miss you! We have the best memories and those we will have forever! (Although you will probably remember them longer!). And we will always just pick up where we left off... I love you Paula and thank God for our friendship! Thank you for this spot in your blog! You are wonderful! And I WILL see you soon! Love, B

Ruby Red Slippers said...

:( You know I went through the same thing just recently...
and it has been hard-but-when you know that a friend is following God's plan for their life {even as it leads away from you-}, you find yourself at peace with what the future brings...
Hugs to you, and can't wait to catch up after we get home from our Summer cottage...major changes coming to our house! ;)