So pulling this one from my blog again. My hubs is out of town and “quiet” writing time has been none exsistant lately with three kids needing my full attention. I wanted to write about the vulnerability in friendship, something that I have faced a lot in my lifetime. I remembered I wrote about it while living in the Philippines and it still stands true to day as I said another goodbye to a dear missionary friend last week returning to the US. It’s never easy and it put our hearts in a state of vulnerability.
As missionaries, we call this the “revolving door of missions”. I write about it below……enjoy!
I had a crazy realization a few weeks ago. It’s crazy how you can recall memories of your childhood that you really never thought about and relate them to your life now. For some strange reason I remembered that when I was younger it seemed there were many years when my “best friend” was always moving. I went to a private school, which happened to be Lutheran as well. There was a public school in the town I lived in. Often times my classmates would switch from the private school to the public school. I remember in like 1st or 2nd grade, several of my close friends shifting to the public school.
Then in believe in 4th grade, my best friend Monica and her family moved. Her father was our 2nd grade teacher (my favorite!) and I have many fond memories of sleep overs and play times at their house. They were a great family and Monica was my very best friend. I can still remember clearly going to her house and her dad telling me that they were moving. How Monica’s lower lip trembled and how I got a sick feeling in my stomach. What on earth would I do without my best friend in school? I remember saying goodbye to her, my eyes filled with tears. Sadly, that was the last time I ever saw her again.
In 5th grade there was a new student Beth and she and I hit it off well with a lot of the same interests. I remember for whatever reason she was teased a lot and I was teased for being her friend, but I didn’t care….I loved her! Again I have good memories of sleepovers and days spent at her house. We would color and giggle and it was fabulous! The end of 6th grade came and she shared, “I’m moving Sarah,” That old familiar feeling came rushing back. We kept in touch for many years, but after I moved to Virginia we lost touch. **Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook we “found each other again last year!**
Those feelings resurfaced just a week ago as we put my friend Sarah on the plane to return to the US till most likely the end of this year. The feelings of, “Now what?” “Lord why does this always happen?” “I just arrived in the Philippines Lord, what am I going to do with out her?” It was then I realized that the Lord has been preparing me for this life since the moment I sat in Monica’s house and heard the news that she was leaving.
My revolving door of missions life has led me to probably saying more goodbyes than hellos. Seems like just when I get comfortable with a friend, it’s time to move on or the Lord moves them on to other things. Thanks to the wonderful world of internet, skype and facebook, it makes it easier to keep in touch. Still though, I guess I miss the “face time” and since I am a creature of habit, I miss the consistency.
Part of me wants to put up a wall of protection around me that doesn’t let anyone in. The goodbyes get harder and now my children are involved and invested in those people too. But that’s not me. My life has been so much richer because of that revolving door. While painful at times, I have so many great memories and literally friends all over the world! It makes times when we are together so much sweeter. I am blessed to have my childhood friend Amy, that no matter the miles and time that separate us, we can pick right back up where we left. I am blessed to have a husband who has stood by me for the past 15 years as a solid rock and companion. So I can’t pity party much about all the goodbyes right? 🙂
In the end….I’ll keep the door spinning and model what it’s like for my children, who are sure to have the same experiences as they go on this journey with us. Praying their lives too become richer, even if the goodbyes at times are hard.