Thursday, February 9, 2012

Make new friends, keep the old (Part I)

Kindred spirits
Lately, I have been having a hard time. I have been missing my old friends. The friends that have been close for most of the years that I have lived in Tennessee. You see, about three years ago, God called my husband & I and our four children to a new church.

It took about 6 months from the call to make the transfer but here we are three years later. Still at the new church. Called and transferred. Planted.

We are still loved. Oh, so still loved and cared for by the old church. We stay connected as much as we can. When we get together, it is almost as if we never left.

My laugh-out-loud, Jesus passionate friend
But, it is not the same.

I don't see them every week anymore. I don't know the details of their lives and they don't know mine. I see the big prayer requests and I pray. They pray for mine. If I called and asked for help, they would be here in a heartbeat. I even occasionally have moments of daily life interaction because I haven't moved across the country or across the state. I am in the same house across the city.

But... I am across the city.

And we -- my friends and I -- are all in that middle stage of life doing all the work. Our lives are very full with jobs, and with children, and with taking care of parents and other family members. Our lives are full. For that I am so grateful.

I have so much to be thankful for.

The next generation of friendships

But this living across the city, going to a different church; it is not the same. As seeing them Every Week. And sometimes more than once-a-week.

I need to be careful or I can get in a woe-is-me kind of attitude. Why haven't they called? (Because of course I don't ask when is the last time I have called them? I don't usually see it from that perspective.)

Friend visiting causes us all to get together
As a new friend reminded me this weekend, embrace the change. You don't want to hinder the work God wants to do in the other person's life because you have been holding on to them too long. And so it reminds me of the song I learned in Girl Scouts:

"Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold"

I have never known for sure which one is silver and which one is gold. These old and new friendships. But they are both precious. The old friends: we have walked many paths together: early marriage, having kids, watching your child go into brain surgery, miscarriages, band gigs, State Fairs, Bible studies, recipe exchanges, talks on the phone, Clash parties, parents dieing, sickness, Anne-a-thons, selling Discovery Toys and Creative Memories, New Year's Eve parties, birthday parties, salsa, long Sunday afternoons hanging out together, Far Out Fridays, tears, crying, and just everyday-living together. So much life. So thankful.

And yet this new set of friends that God has uniquely called together. This new bunch of home-school moms walking out this life together. Answering my desire to have friends close by that it is easier to get together with. That inspire. That are walking out this home-school thing right here in my neighborhood.

But... I had wanted it to be the old friends. Right here. Right next door. is not how God has planned it. He has asked me to embrace the new. Embrace the multiplying ministry in my life; in their life.

Embrace the new because really I am doubly blessed. Doubly enriched to have all these deep sets of friends.

But I have been mourning the loss of daily living. So many things have happened that I have wanted to share the details with. Oh, we'll get together soon and share the details -- as much as possible in an evening. In some ways, it will seem as if no time has slipped by. Those are amazing friendships.

My loyal, quiet, steady do anything for you friends

But it is not the same. This walking life out not as closely as we once did.

And I noticed in Genesis how much Joseph wept upon seeing his brothers and his father. He wept a lot. He wept a lot just before saying, "You intended this for evil but God intended this for good." (No evil intent in all this...just God...intending for good.)

And so it seems to me that there can be weeping in the midst of embracing the new. Embracing the call God has upon my life. And so my weeping doesn't have to mean that I'm not embracing the change in my life.

My crazy mama (her self-dubbed name)  life of the party friend

I am reminded that it is oh so good to miss them -- these old friends of mine-- terribly. It is not the same as packing up all of my belongings in my little blue car and being thankful to be leaving. Not shedding a single tear of departure there. Instead I rejoiced; so glad to be leaving. It was not hard to say good bye then. And now 20 years later, I am in touch with no one from that year of my life -- that hardest year. The place that I shed no tears upon leaving.

Ahhhh, but the old church. I have shed many tears upon not seeing you every week.

And that is a good thing.

It means the ride's been worthwhile. It is only for a little while that I have this sorrow. And really in heaven...I will get to spend time with all of them there.

So perk up little heart, it will be okay.
* * *

Linking up with Company Girls.


  1. Love you, friend. And miss the face time with you, too. I need to be more intentional in the daily with you ... I'm not good at that. You know - it took living in the same building to get to that point and we still had trouble connecting! : ) Life with little people is just so busy, and exhausting, and draining, and also good.

    Can't wait to catch up face to face hopefully in a few weeks. I really, really loved this post. (Not so much the picture of me in it, but I was pregnant with the boy so it turned out to be a good trade-off. Can we take a better picture of us together soon?) ; )

  2. So, did you post this after our friend discussion at Bible study this morning? You have been a good friend for such a long time. Love ya bunches and bunches and miss seeing you on a regular basis.

  3. This "old" friend sure misses you, too! I miss our (at least) daily talks, and just knowing what is currently going on with you. Funny, I saw a friend of mine at school today limping around (she has a recent knee injury, too), and thought of you! I hope to truly catch up soon- with all of the details....I love you!!!

  4. Visiting from Company Girls this morning, and this post hit me hard, as I've just left my church as well. It's expected to have a mourning over what was, that is no longer, at least not in the same way it was. I can comfort myself with the thought that eventually I'll see those friends again, even if it means waiting until we are both with Jesus for that to happen.

  5. Oh, how I understand this post! Having moved to 7 different cities over the past 13 years, I've had to leave so many good friends behind. And it hurts. But I've also had moves where I was happy to be leaving. And a "happy ending" is never a good thing. If you don't mind, I'd like to link to this post as part of my Bloomin' Monday series (How to make the most of moving to a new town). You can see the ones I've written so far at

  6. You made me think of many old friends that I haven't seen in a long time. It's funny how life gets busy and then you look up and realize it's been....HOW LONG??? Urgh. I need to make a few phone calls/emails to keep up with the "gold and silver" friends.

  7. Wow. . .I can *so* relate. . .my husband and I just had this conversation this week. . .he keeps telling me that "I need to stop comparing those friends to these friends" or "we'll have to move back to have that again". . .but he's wrong. . .(1) I think it's always good, when you have a good quality measuring stick, to use it! And (2), no it wouldn't be the same if we "went back". You can't go back. All you can do is look forward, to the road God has laid out before you. And continue to pray and keep in touch however with the old, knowing that it's changed for a season and for a reason. My hope is that one day we will be all back together -- just at this time we're meant to take our journeys at a distance. I feel for you, blog friend, and pray that when you need a friend, whether they are new or old, they will be *right* there for you, where you need them. I know God answered that prayer for me Thursday in a mighty way. He is so good.

  8. I was thinking about this recently too...different friends we have along life's stages, etc. But yes, those old friendships that saw us through so many things will stick no matter how long it's been since the last time we saw...a week...a month...a decade even. A good reminder to cherish every relationship we have...old and new.

  9. Oh good, I'm OLD... I guess that means you'll keep me!


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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