I bet most of you have had the experience of feeling like you are living two separate lives. When I was eighteen and left Michigan to attend college in Florida, I was struck by how completely distinct my two lives were. My college life and hometown life didn’t intersect at all. I had no friends who were part of both worlds. To a lesser degree my whole adult life has been this way. My home life is unlike my hometown life in many respects. Yet there’s nothing like being with people who have known you and loved you forever.
The last few days I’ve been in Michigan with my mom who has played games with my boys till all hours and is about the easiest person to just hang out with you could possibly imagine. I saw my sister, my brother-in-law (who I’ve known since I was five), and two of my nephews. But I also briefly got to see an aunt, uncle and cousins, none of whom I had seen in more than three years. My one cousin, Cassie, pictured above, is my oldest friend. She was born just 24 days after me – no new friend could possibly catch her in terms of the number of sweet memories shared.
The thing is though that when you don’t see someone for a long time, and don’t even talk to them consistently, you can start to doubt that things will be the same. I know it is pure Dana Carvey Church-Lady, but you know who I think is responsible for planting these seeds of doubt? Could it be? SATAN! I believe it is. I truly do. I think the prince of this world doesn’t want relationships to work. The Bible says we will be known by our love for one another. Of course the enemy of love is the enemy of relationships. That persistent but suave voice may tell you “don’t call, they’re probably busy. It’s too much running around to make that brief visit work. Not worth it…” But that nagging whisper is straight from hell and full of lies.
The TRUTH is that it is ALWAYS worth it. I promise it is. God wants you to keep making the effort. This afternoon I had coffee with Cassie. Any doubt that things could change just because we somehow haven’t seen each other in THREE years was swept away, swept away by the force of a Pacific tsunami. Sadly some people pass in and out of our lives, but you know the people who are supposed to remain no matter what. You know if you are connected in such fundamental ways (in this particular relationship by both blood and shared experiences) that letting go just isn’t an option.
Is there someone you need to reach out to today? Is there someone who needs to hear how much you love them?
May the words of Paul be a comfort and a spur:
This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.
Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails (1 Corinthians 4:7, Phillips).
I hope you are able to embrace your roots, enjoy your home, and rest in the comfort of knowing your eternal Savior.