Or, in the words of Michael W. Smith, " And friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the Lord of them." Those of you who follow my blog and Facebook sentiments should understand that whenever life gets busy, overwhelming, needs processing or the dear hubby is traveling more, that you should pray harder, and that God is working in my life and that of our family.
This last month was filled with conflicting emotions as our family said goodbye to several folks whose lives had intersected ours and while examining my emotions, I realized it is truly better to have loved and lost temporarily,(as these folks will sit on my front porch in Heaven) than to not have loved at all.
Friendships take hard work. In Brownie scouts at the ripe age of 7, I learned the song, "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold." This song has played and replayed in my head over the last weeks as new friends and old friends came and went.
As a missionary, the hardest thing for me has been the cultivation of friendship, only to have the friends move a continent away. Or to see my children finally find a true friend only to see him/her move a year or two later...or to leave my adult children in the U.S., or to watch our eldest son graduate and gather for photos in front of the same sign Brian and I stood in front of more than 25 years ago on graduation weekend, knowing that the large group of friends smiling back at us were experiencing emotions similar to the emotions I write about here.
Friendships forged during those intense college years or in foreign cultures are similar. They are pure gold, and stand firm over time.