You know the only bad thing about letting people into your heart and life is that the ebbs and flows eventually carry with it moments of attempting to let them go out of your daily life. Experienced so much of that when I came here. Difficult sacrifices were not the things or the luxuries of life…really…but the people, shewww still a difficult one somedays. I’ll be perfectly honest and tell you I wasn’t expecting to come here and develop friendships quickly that were deep and real and authentic. I wasn’t. I don’t do that easily (although perhaps I’m getting better) and honestly I wasn’t convinced I wanted to fill the empty spaces left from some of my favorite people with any new people because I knew how bad my heart ached when I left them. Color me silly but I wasn’t sure I wanted to sign up for that again.
Yep silly me…here I am again…sat today in the middle of Church’s Chicken with tears rolling clear down my cheeks and watched some other people I love do the same thing. Watched two grown men who have deeply journeyed together in this faith walk attempt to say goodbye to the way things have been for a while now and as one of them walked out the door the other one put his hands to his head and just cried, watched some boys I love more than life already at this point get hugged on and loved on by Uncle Joe and had to turn my head because I couldn’t watch as he tenderly hugged them and told them he loved them.
You see I was reminded again today of a few really important things. I want to live my life in such a way that no matter how long God may allow me to stay in one place, there is a void when I leave, not because I’m anything spectacular necessarily, but because I’ve invested enough of myself in people that there’s something to miss when I’m gone. I watched people who had been invested in today feel a void, a big void in the absence of our dear friend. Guess the second thing I was reminded of was that no matter how much it hurts or how bad it aches some days, real, deep, genuine friendships will always be worth it. I want to live open to them always. Allowing God to move people into my heart, challenging me to be a part of authentic community, and be better and richer because of it.
One of my favorite quotes for a while as cheesy as it is has been, “Some people walk into our lives and quickly go, some people leave footprints on our hearts and we are NEVER the same.” — You left some way big footprints here Joe and I know Karen and I have been so changed by your love, encouragment, and friendship. Parts of me will never be the same again because you’ve been a part of God changing places in my heart. Thank you for offering us your friendship. I am so much better because of it.
You keep running hard after Jesus my friend and we’ll see you there – and miss you like crazy in the dailyness of here!