We have made our annual summer road trip to West Virginia and Virginia. It has been a totally jam-packed two weeks of cookouts and late nights and visits with family and friends and Vacation Bible School and watching my kids try to cram as much Disney Channel into their days as possible because we don’t have cable at home.
I have had the best time — the BEST time — reconnecting with friends from all different stages and phases of life.
I visited the WV state 4-H camp that is one of my most favorite places on earth. While there, I was reminded once again how much I love those friendships that aren’t really affected by time or space. I saw a friend I haven’t seen in more than 10 years. She and I hugged and then sat and talked, and it was like no time had passed at all. Our conversation very quickly passed through all the surface stuff, and we talked honestly and openly about our lives. I love Love LOVE that kind of friendship!
I saw other friends there too. Friends I saw last year, friends I hadn’t seen for a few years, and a friend I hadn’t seen in at least 20 years. There was a lot of hugging, enjoying some 4-H traditions, and some good conversation. Those friendships and that place make me feel young again. When I’m there, I’m reminded of who I was before I became a wife and mother and missionary. And that’s a good thing.
I also attended my 20th high school reunion. Though many of my closest high school friends didn’t come to the reunion, I had a really good time. Facebook is a funny thing. Because of Facebook, I’ve reconnected with all sorts of people from high school — some of whom I knew, but not extremely well. It was so fun to show up at a reunion & feel genuinely happy and excited to see people I wasn’t super-close to in high school. And it’s all because I know when they’re having a bad day and what they fed their kids for breakfast and where they took their last vacation — thanks to Facebook.
I’ve visited with church friends in Virginia — the friends who brought meals when my kids were born and taught Children’s Church with me, the friends who have gone on mission trips with me or my husband, the friends who cried with me when I had to have a hysterectomy. These are the friends who have rocked my babies in the nursery, the friends my family has shared many meals with over the years. These are the friends I cried for every Sunday morning the first two months I lived in Florida. I love these people! They are like family!
And I’ve visited with the girlfriends, the group of girls I grew close to in my years of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). These are the friends who were pregnant and nursing when I was pregnant and nursing, the friends whose children were going through weird preschool stages the same time mine were. These are my Girls’ Night Out girlfriends. We’ve had more cups of coffee and breakfast casseroles together than I can count! And we’ve laughed and cried and laughed and laughed a lot over the years. These girls are the support system I knew would be most difficult to replicate in Florida. And it’s true! They’re irreplaceable!
I also got to visit with my closest friend from my teaching days. Actually, I was treated to TWO visits with her! She loves my kids and I love her son. We can each count on the other to pray for our children. She is a great resource of information and support and advice, especially when it comes to school-stuff for my kids. And she is one of the funniest people I know. You know how there are people who fill you up and people who drain you dry? She’s definitely one of the fill-you-up kind of people! I just love her.
And so, after a couple weeks full of friend-time, my cup is full and overflowing.
I sure have been blessed with good friendships in my life. And I’m especially blessed to be able to visit with and reconnect with so many of my friends so often. I am rich! Rich in all the ways that really matter anyway.