A few years ago (wow, maybe 10 years?) I read the book "The Five Love Languages" for the first time. I wasn't married, wasn't dating...just a girl in college. Several years later as W and I prepared for marriage, I read it again. I have always been "quality time" first and foremost in how I receive love. Coming in at a close second is "words of encouragement."
This still rings true today. I treasure notes that friends send me. I'm not going to pretend that I am uber classical, but in a day when e-mail and text messages are convenient, I appreciate the time and effort that is put into sending a card.
Friendship has been heavy on my heart lately. I've lost a friend in the last few months. I tried as best as I knew how to handle the situation with grace, all along praying "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine, according to the power that works within us (Ephesians 3:20)" begging that this friendship be spared.
It wasn't spared. And it hurts.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Esslesiastes 3:1
I've also been thinking of the above verse. I know that God gives us friendships for different seasons in our lives. And as He gives, He also takes away. I have several friends in my life that no matter distance nor time apart, we always pick up where we left off. We may rarely see each other and only have heart-to-heart conversations maybe 2-3 times a year. But, it always seems when we talk that no time has passed.
And sometimes, it's more evident that time has passed.
I talked to my sweet friend Megan this week, who is now engaged to be married. (Meg, this is my confession to you!). We met in college and even lived together for a brief time before W and I were married. It was a time in both of our lives where our faith seemed to be unstoppable. It made me so sad that our conversation the other day was surface level and a wee bit awkward. Yet I'm not sad, because the time that our friendship was so intimate holds a special place in my heart. I know that though the friendship doesn't look like what it used to, it's still there...it's just a different season.
We moved to this town two weeks before T-Pup was born. Now, almost seven years later, we are preparing to start a new chapter in story of our life. W will graduate in two weeks with his Masters of Divinity. Shortly following that, he is to be ordained/commissioned as an Elder (still a 3 year probation period following this step) in the United Methodist Church. He will be the new pastor of a church about an hour from here. We'll move into their parsonage in June and a new season will begin.
I want to be a seasoned friend. I want to always encourage, never tear down. I want to send letters of "hey, friend!" without reason to make others smile. I want to be on my knees for sisters in Christ who are up to their elbows in their children's diapers or wedding plans or ministry. As I think about what my friends are to me, I'm convicted of the friend I have not been to them.
I want to be a good friend.