Several months ago a deep sadness moved into my heart, and, after one major breakdown with my mom, I’ve avoided even thinking about it. I’m a feelings-stuffer in the sense that I work and trudge through discomfort at light speed to ignore it. But last week a friend of a friend got sick, and, even though I don’t know her, it sort of puts it-the importance of friends-in perspective.
This is a sad one. In six months, we’re won’t be together or a short car ride away. No more sporadic texts about mishaps. No more backyard fires. No more winding chats around the lazy river. No more bonding with the boxed wine (well, let’s face it, for me, there will be boxed wine sans bonding…). No more magical holiday nights. No more planning of the classy cocktail party dedicated to dancing the night away.
The past five and six years have been quite incredible and full. We’ve traveled the world. Studied. Apartment-hunted and moved. Graduated. Applied for jobs. Been rejected by jobs. Peed pants and beds. Almost got kicked out of college. Stood alongside one in another in marriage. Served. Cried over learning the hard way. Prayed through crisis. Navigated lost journeys. Been confused, disillusioned, and frustrated. Sat by during hard, tragic, sad times. Been the other end of the phone at 2 AM. Tried acne, diet, and fashion faux-pas. Celebrated victory and admitted defeat. Meddled in one another’s relationships. Planned and dreamed. Feared, worried, doubted, and healed. Embraced one another’s awkwardness. Laughed and talked from night to day. Loved one another through and out of darkness. Found Jesus. And the list goes on…
Together we’ve found ourselves a little and begun the frightening journey into adulthood, which has been wondrous, but now it’s time to do this apart. When I think of why we must separate, I cry sad and happy tears. Sad, because we won’t be side-by-side for one another’s journeys. Happy, because, when we’re done with it, the world will be different, I think.
Now it’s time for you to travel the world or across this country to chase visions, fulfill desires, love people needing love, give and do what you’re best at, and live out passions. For most of you, the way is known, and some still dream. But the beating of all your hearts-for beautiful, incredible things-is not in vain.
It’s been a privilege and one of the greatest joys of my short time as an adult to do life with you, but my greater privilege will be watching your future stories unfold, even if we’re apart. I’ll still be cheering you on, believing in the completeness of the One inside you.
New ones will come, have come along, but you have a place always. I am proud of you. You inspire and challenge me. When I am sad, thoughts of you make me happy. But most importantly, I love you, which is something neither space nor time can change.