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We raised babies together. In a time when “telephone” meant the kind that was attached to the wall with a cord between the handset and the base. In a time before DVDs existed (I know I’m dating myself here). When my daughter watched the same 4 episodes of “Sesame Street” over and over on a VHS tape because we couldn’t get that station on our television so my mother made a tape for her.
We took our babies to the park and let them run free while we followed them around and talked about life. We joked about arranged marriages (but it was a joke because I was related to her husband, so…not a good idea) and we babysat for each other. We talked on those stationary telephones for hours so we would have company while we cleaned our houses. Shelia loved my daughter almost as much as she loved her son. She was my first “Mom” friend and really, my first grown-up friend.
But then the time came when we moved away and I didn’t see my friend much anymore. The calls slowed, then finally stopped. My life circumstances changed and I made new friends, and so did she.
That may sound like a sad story, but I don’t see it that way. I’ve had friends who have come and gone during different seasons of my life and I have friends (at least on Facebook) that I have known nearly my entire life. One thing I have come to believe is that God gives us the friends we need when we need them the most. Some people stay in our lives for years, and some for months, weeks, or even less. I think He gives us friends to walk alongside us, to “do life” with us, at just the perfect times.
This is especially poignant for me because my family is moving in just a few weeks. (A few weeks? I’m not ready!) We are leaving behind some wonderful friends and I’m going to miss them terribly. But I am confident that God will provide friends for us in our new place – in fact, He’s already started forming some bonds through the magic of the internet. I know He’s got a plan, and that’s a good thing because I’ve barely started packing.