Friends I’ve Left Along the Way

>We set up permanent residence here in North Dakota in the middle of March. I can’t believe we’ve already been here 4 1/2 months, some days; however, on days like today, it seems we’ve been here forever already. Why? Because at this time next week, I’ll be livin’ it up with my friends back in Idaho! I can hardly wait; every day until I leave seems long.

I was sharing with my Bible Study ladies just last night about a similar situation I had nearly 10 years ago.

I had been living in Tulsa, OK for nearly 3 years when I felt my season there was coming to an end. I loved my church. I loved my friends. I loved my job(s). I loved my life, but I knew that things were changing. I began to pray to God that when my season in Tulsa was over, He would make it absolutely clear to me and move me on. I certainly didn’t want to out-stay my season.

Well, in a matter of WEEKS He made it clear! And it wasn’t but a few weeks after that that I was on my way back to North Dakota to finish my schooling where it had all started.

You see, upon graduation from high school I moved from Montana to North Dakota to attend a TINY Bible college. It was rough. It was too small. I wasn’t ready for the close quarters and tight strictures meant to raise up conscientious young men and women leaders for God. I left after the first semester and told everyone that it would take an act of God to get me back there.

So, fast forward 5 years later and I’m back at Trinity Bible College–God had acted. And not long after getting back into the routine of class schedules, cafeteria hours, and student body activities I was whining.

I remember very clearly whining to God about not having any friends that I could relate to and missing all my lovely, vibrant friends back in T-town. I knew my Tulsa friends were having more fun than me, without me, and I was sad.

“Why do I always have to move along and leave my friends?” Whaa, whaa, whaa . . .

And almost as soon as those words were out of my mouth, directed to the ceiling, God spoke to my heart: “Stop whining. You’ve enjoyed every place you’ve been and all the people you’ve met along the way. You can’t have it all, sweetheart. You will find friends here too, and you will love them. You would’ve missed all the wonderful people if you would’ve stayed in the same place this whole time. Now be glad.”

The same situation is with me today. My bosom friends aren’t here. They all live far away. But instead of being a whiner, I remember all the wonderful people I’ve met and loved along the way. Some I still keep in close, regular contact with while others are pieces of beloved memories in my heart. No matter what, I am comforted in knowing that there will be other great friends to come even though they will not, probably, resemble any other friendships of the past.

So, I continue to hold out my arms and open my doors. I give out my cell phone number to friendly strangers in the chance that they just might become dear friends in the days ahead.

Nevertheless, my heart is thrilled with the fact that I get to hang out with some of my favorite ladies back in Nampa, ID. I love them and certainly can’t wait to see them! Friendship is such a wonderful, beautiful, thrilling thing.

I pray the blessing of great friendships for all of you! Though friends don’t make life fully complete, we certainly are empty without them.

Just a Reminder: To have good friends you need to be a good friend.

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