But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God…” – Ruth 1:14, NRSV
My person left today.
My person is my longest standing friend, who I met the day we moved into freshman dorms. Freedom and fear mixed together for an exhilarating cocktail as we waved goodbye to our parents and borrowed each others clothes. Two sheltered girls became two cautious young women, and when she moved back to her city I followed after a few years.
In fact, until I got married, we lived together in her big city. Laughing, cooking, petting dogs, watching romantic comedies, eating, shopping, and eating some more.
She knows my secrets. She stood within arms reach of me while I made the worst decisions ever conceived and let me live out their course, all the while knowing that she would have a human puzzle to reassemble. And, reassemble she did. Not just once.
There was the best, though, which sustained us through all seasons. She stood just as close, holding my bouquet, when I spoke vows to my husband. Later, she held my son while I told her about spending another day in my pajamas.
We know no more lyrics to “Here Comes the Hotstepper” than we did in 1994, and we still know that a little chocolate is not just a band-aid, but medicinal.
This is my person, and today she leaves her home, three minutes from my doorstep, and moves across the country. So, today, we cry.
Have you ever cried these tears?
I have learned well, though, because I need her.
She did not teach me that. Jesus taught me that I need my friend, my person, my sister. I need women in my life who stand within arms reach for such a time as these. They reassemble our human puzzle while feeding us chocolate and holding our used Kleenex. They dress up and witness our joyful moments. They carry the annals of our history so that we remember, while carrying our phone so we don’t forget it at the house.
Do you have one of these? Call her, text her, tweet her AND email her today and tell her how grateful you are to God that she simply exists.
Do you need one of these? I pray courage into your life to find your person. I don’t make friends easily, so I know the effort that friendship can take, especially when you have been burned by careless relationships in the past. To honor the love I have for my dear old friend, I will look for new sisters to practice all the skills that she taught me. I have a few ideas to make it easier on us.
This week, you and I can…
- When someone says, “How are you?”, be real with a touch of humor.
- Facebook or call an acquaintance that seems interesting.
- Make a play date for the kids, or dogs, or yourself.
- Leave a comment, with a question, on a blog that you love.
- Ask someone to pray for your quest. (The ladies at Internet Cafe would love to pray for you! Simply leave a comment below. Have courage! You are not alone. I am really doing this, too!)
Hang in there, friend!