Saying “see you later” doesn’t make saying “good-bye” easier. For me, the worst part of moving is leaving friends behind, not knowing when you will see them again. Leaving our home of fifteen years was agonizing knowing the friendships I would leave behind would never be the same. Fifteen years of friendships equaled fifteen years of family.
I love my friends and didn’t want any of those relationships to change, but as the seasons of life come and go so must the people God places within those seasons. God gave me family who would carry me through early years of marriage and motherhood. We walked the same path, lifting one another to our feet after parenting struggles drove us to our knees. When grief entered our homes, we grieved together, bringing meals, cleaning homes, and caring for children. We prayed for one another while we began new jobs, made difficult decisions, and lived out our dreams.
I didn’t want to leave any of that behind. I wanted to carry them with me on my new adventures down south. How would I do life without my friends who knew me and loved me so well?
God’s kindness would give me new friendships in my new town who would see me through new struggles. Within a couple of weeks, I met a friend who was a fellow writer and also had a multitude of little people occupying her space. We chatted over coffee, met for Bible study, took a road trip, and attended a writers conference together. Our children ate from each other’s pantries and swam in our pool. When the time came for us to leave, she laid down the busyness of her life to help me clean my empty home. God gave me a friend whose life quickly intertwined with mine and never failed to love me well.
She was one of many who I wasn’t ready to leave after being pushed into a new season of life. I hadn’t had enough time with her. Not like the fifteen years of our previous home. How is this fair? When would our paths cross again?
God in His kindness can only answer that question. After almost two years, our paths crossed in the town where I lived before moving south. My precious friend’s extended family members recently found homes there. Before knowing the exact details of their trip, she texted me to let me know they would be coming and how far away I would be. Rearranging my life to spend even a few hours with her was not a question. Our sobbing embrace erased two years of absence. How kind of God to bring her to me. Even when I did not understand Him and why we had to move so quickly, His goodness and kindness prevailed.
The friends from our first home are still present in my life. They are the ones I call and text when memories surface and I think of them. When something exciting happens they join me in my joy. When grief occurs, they pray with me in my sadness. Although our physical presence ahs been interrupted, I know they are still behind me ready to lift me up when life brings me to my knees.
The affect moving has on our friendships can be devastating, but God in His kindness knows the friends we need in the season we are in as well as the one that is approaching. Cherish your relationships as they come and go. God has a purpose for each one He places in your life in that specific season.