When I was in 7th grade, my best friend Lynetta moved away. (At least I think that was her name – I’m sure my 7th grade self would be super ticked that the 39 year old version of me can’t even remember the “super duper important” girl’s name.) At the time, it felt like the world was ending. But then again, most everything feels like the world is ending when you’re in 7th grade. But I digress. It really did feel like my world was ending.
Of course it wasn’t.
But here I find myself, 25 years later, feeling like my world is ending again. Because my best friend is moving again.
Being left behind kinda stinks.
(But lest I get totally caught in 7th grade drama, let me preface this by saying that my bestie, Faith is amazeballs. Completely and totally. She has one of those incredibly dynamic and engaging personalities. So I am 100,000% certain that she has lots of people who would say that she is their best friend. And I totally don’t want to offend them or detract from the specialness of their friendships. And I have other best friends too – like Bonnie, my bestie since 5th grade (except for the aforementioned 7th grade detour – we’ll call those the “dark years”) and Valerie (who moved clear across the country from me a few years back and is the reason we go to South Carolina every couple of years). But right now, Faith is where it’s at. Totally my bestie.)
She’s amazing. The kind of friend where you can talk and laugh for hours and still leave wanting more. The kind of friend where you can try on clothes together and shop for hats and jewelry together with. The kind of friend you can text at the last minute and ask her to grab your kids from school – and then invite the whole family for dinner when she drops them off.
And it’s not just her.
Her eldest daughter is Sierra’s best friend. And her son is one of Bodie’s good buddies. And our husbands love to spend time together, too! I mean, peeps, WHEN does that happen in life?!? It’s sort of like magic struck with our families. The kinda magic where NO ONE wants to leave when we have dinners together. Well, I mean, not “magic” – I mean, God specifically ordained for our families to cross paths. And fireworks kinda happened when we did.
Our girls met the week before kindergarten started.
And before long, we were all fast friends. Since then, we have carpooled together, we have had spontaneous play dates and more dinners than I can count. We have vacationed together. We have rejoiced in one another’s joys (the birth of their sweet baby girl last year) and held each other’s hands through the hardships (our fire, Bodie’s surgeries, Dusk’s cardiac arrest…ok, well, really they’ve just held our hands. But honestly, it’s hard to compete with the crap that’s been thrown at our family!). We’ve walked through life the past 3 years together, binding our families. To find this kind of closeness with another family in this huge metropolis of LA is truly a rare find.
But their family has been called to a new mission field, in another part of the country.
I am so so so excited for them. I am 100,000% certain this is the absolute best move for their family. I know God has called them and they have willingly heard his call. I am so thrilled for them and this new adventure they’re about to embark on. I am so blessed to have role models in my life who hear God’s call and willingly answer. I know they must be scared – change is never easy. But after the change comes the good part, where they will settle into a new community, and a new group of people will shake their heads at their good luck in finding such an incredible family.
But the hole they will be leaving behind is immeasurable. Big big BIG shoes to fill. In our lives. In our children’s lives. In our church. In our school. In our community.
So, if you’re the praying kind, we could all use some prayers right about now. Pray for a smooth transition for this amazing family. Pray for open hearts and arms in their new community. And pray for us, those of us left behind trying to fill their void. We live in LA, which is such a transient city, so you’d think we’d be pretty good at this leaving game by now, but even so, sometimes it still stings. And there are a few that are REALLY hard to let go of. That would be this family.
They’re leaving next week. I’ve done a really good job at pretending it’s not happening, at just going about life as usual. But when you get this close, it’s hard. I’m starting to actually have to envision what our lives, church and school will be like without this family and my heart is pretty heavy. And pray for Sierra – her best friend is leaving her. It’s hard for us adults to lose our best friends. But we’ve had a lifetime of learning to cope behind us. She has only 8 years. She’s struggling. Pray for peace for her little heart. Pray for friendships with the friends still at school to be strengthened, and for new friends to cross her path.
Because this one's really hard to let go.
And, if you’re lucky enough to have a bestie who lives locally, who you can grab coffee with or drop in spontaneously on; if you’ve been blessed with those kind of friends in your life, with that special kind of magic, grab them and do dinner with them tonight. Take them out to Starbucks. Hug them tight. And thank your lucky stars for the blessing of friendship.