Monday, July 25, 2011

Friends Forever (seriously)

"Friends are God's way of apologizing for our families."
Anonymous

I just returned from a four day weekend in the beautiful state of Virginia. It's the first out of the house vacation that I've taken in a long time, and it was wonderful. But it was wonderful for reasons other than just the time off and the scorching hot weather. My trip to Virginia was about visiting and reconnecting with old friends that I haven't seen in a long time, and being with them again was incredible.

I was a young teenager when I got an Aol Instant Messenger account, and reconnected with some childhood friends who moved away. It started a number of friendships that I've been happy and blessed to have over the years. They've helped me through some of the most difficult and troubling times that I've experienced, and taught me millions of life lessons that I never expected. We've been together through things that were amazing and fantastic and heartbreaking and wonderful and crazy and... I could go on and on.

But now, seeing them again for, some for the first time in a few months, some for the first time in four years, and one for the first time all together (she's only 21 months old, but she fits right in), I was most amazed to find that despite all the changing that we've done over time, everything is the same.

As we reconnected over dinner, and drinks, and coffee, and even just sitting together at the table, the conversation topics took a deja vu type turn. Sure, every now and then we would get lost in a few reminiscent moments, but for the most part, we just talked about our lives- things like school, work, relationships, entertainment- all the same things that we always talked about... the kind of things that we were connected over in the first place.

I have been given the incredible gift of having many of the same friends that I had in childhood with me still in my life. The time together has had different results for us- for instance, some of those friendships have resulted in shared interests and friends, some have resulted in shared hobbies and events, and in one interesting case, my friend and I have somehow managed a telepathic relationship, in which talking is less important now that we can read one-anothers minds. These friendships have, most importantly, solidified the relationships that we have made over time.

Sure, we fight, and sure, there are moments when things feel rough, but mostly, they are the greatest thing in the world. Because we remember things that we've done together, and we remember things that we've made it through, and it means the world in the end. And we are there for each other, when we are needed, even if these older relationships don't require the maintenance of the new ones.

These kind of friends are actually a big part of how I understand God. You always hear people talking about how God wants to be our friend, and loves us, and wants to be there for us. But without the kind of friends who have been around me forever, I know exactly what that means. I know that when I pull away, even when I need them most, they'll always come back for me. And they forgive me when I do stupid and silly things. They support my dreams and share their thoughts with me about what I should do. They know me and I know them. It shows me what the love of God really looks like.

For now, God has placed these people in my life so that I can feel loved and supported. I wouldn't trade them for the world, because they give me a lot of joy and happiness, and I look forward to these memories we are making now, because I know that one day we will look back and laugh at the things we are doing now- whether out loud or telepathically.

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