Sometimes I forget how uncommon it is for folks to have the sorts of friendships (and the volume) God has blessed me with for the past decade or so.
I had opportunity in Peru to realize that a friend I’ve known for the past 5 ish years was jealous of a friendship that’s lasted more than 10 years. Disclaimer: jealous is probably the wrong word here, but I don’t have a better one. She felt like an extra wheel.
It hadn’t occurred to me that a 5-year friendship could ever seem inadequate, but in comparison, sure. Ten years is longer. Ten years is double the time, memories, comfort, etc… And I know how it can be when old time friends start talking, and there may as well not be anyone else in the room.
On Halloween, I was blessed to talk with a friend I haven’t gotten to spend time with in awhile. We always have the best of intentions and say we’re going to get together, but we really never do until I’m on a break from work. Seeing her on Halloween, however, was as if we haven’t missed a moment.
Then, there was earlier today, when I was doing yard work and some friends dropped by and just started helping me. Then, they came inside and we talked for a couple of hours. It was unexpected and really nice.
I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself lately because some of my closest friends have decided to make an out-of-state move. They are my holiday benefactors and the ones I always want to talk to first when anything has happened. I’m not so selfish that I don’t see how great the move is for them, but I am selfish enough to wonder if I’m going to be able to swing the cost of holiday visits every year.
Thinking about that and all of the friendships I’ve lost over the past few years… Shasta, that boy, a few others that just sort of dissolved… I’ve been mopey.
It’s really difficult for me to feel okay with all of the ways life changes. I’m looking into the next few years of my life, and I realize that just as my holiday benefactors need to make a change, I probably need to make some career choices and get moving. I’m looking into going back to school, which may require a move… and while I don’t like to think of rebuilding the relationships and finding the folks within a new city who I might live my life with, I also realize that the building wasn’t mine anyways.
Don’t panic… I don’t have plans yet to move, but I’m looking into some things and moving isn’t off the table right now.
Today, though, as the Schneiders left my house and I got ready to head to Starbucks for some writing and whatnot, Jonah and his plant popped into my mind. That’s one of my favorite parts of the whole Bible because of how easy it is for us to think we are somehow entitled to the blessings God gives us. He has blessed me with great friends – beyond any friendships I could ever have built on my own, and if those friendships were only for a time, I guess I can still love God anyways. After all, He sometimes grows plants out of the ground to shade us, even when we didn’t ask Him to… and sometimes He takes the plant away before we feel finished benefiting from its shade.