Growing up in one place, going through school with a changeable but stable group, I foresaw a future where there would be people who might remain close and tell and retell stories of shared experiences, job successes (or disappointments), weddings, births of their own children, and even the tragedies of death and despair.
But on this hot and sunny day there was nothing but noise, laughter, and visiting, oh, so much visiting. Concerns about Covid were put on hold as people joined together in celebration, to relax and have fun as they celebrated the future of the life on one little boy and, by extention, all of us.
My pleasure in this imagined future is doubly gratifying because I felt its absense so keenly in my own life. Growing roots doesn't come easily when you move countless times, finally settle in one place and with high school graduation, whatever ties formed, unravel.
I don't write this as a poor, pitiful me, sob story. No, I write it with joy and celebrataion. You see, feeling a sense of aloneness and disconnectedness isn't a life sentence. Rather, it has become an understanding of the value of the role people play in one's life. It isn't about numbers of friends but quality of friends. Seek the friend that sticks closer to you than a sister or brother (Proverbs 18:24).
Friendship is a gift and as it forms, it can be sweet and exciting, and create a place in ones heart that feels safe and sheltered. But friendship can also be messy. Like marriage, friendship takes work to maintain it and keep it healthy. We're human. We make mistakes but, true friends will be there, will see you through the rough times and tell you the truth. So, take the time to learn that while friendship and experience are related, they are very different and distinct from each other. Friendship is the person. Experience is what happens to form that friendship.