It is the beauty of a history. The shared memories that date back year after year, child after child. It is the organic flow of relationships based on little ones running back and forth across lawns and driveways, calling to one another: Can we play? It is the way which only children have of drawing the adults around them into relationships as well. And then ensuring that we stay connected, because they are so uninhibited in their love for one another, that we cannot help but be drawn along.
Until one day, without really knowing how or when it happened, we emerge with something concrete: We are friends!
Undeniably. Unalterably. Friends.
Where there were once separate houses and driveways all their own, where there once existed individual lives and families, there is now a community. It has taken time, and it has happened so gradually as to sneak up on us.
But it is there now, and it is beautiful.
He has Been With Us
We become accustomed to the sameness- to the ease of the knocks on doors- and we do not stop for a moment to think that it will ever be anything different. The days are ones of friends and grass and games. And it feels as though life will continue on in a same direction, indefinitely.
We talk middle school and graduations, never realizing that above us goes One whose Hand is redirecting our lives.
It is this Hand that now stretches out along the horizon, and whose lead we are wanting to follow. But it is hard. The gentle leading of a God who promises to do so, still leaves a path marked with pain.
There are days of confusion, and nights without rest. And there are tears, as God begins to pry apart our hearts. And we try valiantly to become accustomed to the ache inside.
To live well with the ache.
He Will Be With Us
God soothes our hearts with His own words: He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Everything. The birthdays shared. The long afternoons sprinkled with laughter. The anecdotes about kids, spoken and understood. The years of helping and supporting. The daily burdens made lighter, because we shared them. The transition as our foundations change. All of it is His.
There is the peace in the reminder that He goes with us into the unknown, because none of it is unknown to Him. He is a God of the past, present and future who has ordained from all time, this time in our lives. So when the shadows creep in, we know that He sees form. When the darkness surrounds, we know that all is light to Him.
And we remind ourselves that we will look back and see in vivid shades what He has made. And by His own decree, it will be something beautiful. We hold fast to His promises, because they have always held true. And even when His plans do not look like sunshine and rainbows, we know that He is working everything for our good.
And with that reminder, our hearts can be at peace.
He has us, and that is enough.
For more on friendship, I wrote about the 5 top qualities I appreciate in my best friends, here.