When Friendship Lasts a Lifetime
It was a perfect night as we sat on the grass catching up on the past 21 years. Is it really possible that it has been that long since high school?!!, we asked, our eyes incredulous.
As I looked around at each one of my friends, there was a feeling of contentment in my heart. These girls, some of whom I met when I was 9 years old, the rest when I was at the awkward age of 12, have been a constant in my life. We lost touch during some of those years. Most of my friends stayed close to home, but I left the mountains of my childhood and went to college in the big city. But even with the distance and the years, we have managed to still be a part of each other’s lives.
Our friendships were forged over mutual interests. We were all in the marching band together and as a result, our high school years are full of football game memories, of salt and vinegar french fries, of ugly, uncomfortable uniforms and singing Meatloaf songs at the top of our lungs.
Life has taken each one of us in a different direction. While most of my friends still call Pennsylvania home, none of us see each other often. I am always amazed at how with long time friends you just pick up where you left off.
We reminisced about high school days and we commiserated over in-laws (I am a VERY lucky girl by the way!). And we caught up a bit, but it was too short. How do you pack 21 years into a couple of hours?!!
As I drove away from my friends that night in order to get my little ones to bed, I was struck by the blessing of friendship that withstands the test of time. These girls knew me when I was unsure of who I was. They loved me through all of the questions, the insecurities, and the unknowns of the future.
As grown women are wont to do, we talked about our jobs. My friends talked about frustrations, inconsistencies, retirement and days off and through it all, I felt myself just listening. Because for the past 11 years, my “job” has been being a mom and taking care of my household. What could I possibly have to add to this conversation?
In the midst of the discussion, I discovered something about myself. In the past, I would have stayed quiet. Listening and encouraging has always been my modus operandi. But I have grown comfortable in my own skin. And so, I was able to tell my friends that it felt weird to be having a discussion on jobs and to know that while I work hard, I do not bring in any kind of income.
The beautiful result of being vulnerable was that my friends encouraged me! They reminded me that I do bring a great deal to the table and they all wished that they didn’t have to work outside of their homes. Huh. Sometimes our perceptions are a little faulty, aren’t they?
Twenty one years has taught us perspective. Life experience changes us, matures us and turns us into the people we always hoped we would be. It also humbles us and shows us that we can never stop learning and growing and changing.
My hope for each one of us is that we would never stop chasing our dreams. I pray that we would run hard after the God-given passions in our lives. When we fall down, may we always get back up, stronger and more resilient than we were before. And when our dreams come true, may we hold on tight and never let go.
Thank you for being my friends for all these years, for loving me well, for always having my back. You are my people and I love each one of you dearly!