I’ve been in Washington for 14 months. My, how time flies! I’ve spoken before about how much peace we felt about moving here; that remains the same. We are called to be in this place, in this time. That does help soften the rough edges these days. But I confess that it’s feeling a little isolated here recently.
Last year I had low expectations about friendships. Recently transplanted, I knew it would take time to develop deep abiding relationships. I was pleasantly surprised by the women who came into my life last year–Aimee, Allison, Francine, Mindy, and Rachel all became names that rolled off my tongue easily. As the year progressed I added Kelly and Jen. I am still utterly grateful for their presence in my life.
What I didn’t fully realize is how much of these friendships was due to being in the same place at the same time; the same preschool, the same bible study, the same toddler group–these served as the grounding points for us. When they ended it became way more challenging to maintain the friendship. It isn’t that we liked each other any less, but life took over. The chores, transporting kids, the activities continued and when our paths diverged it took ever so much effort to try to steer the paths closer together.
Now we’re part of new schools, new communities, new bible studies and I feel like I’m starting over. While last year I was perfectly content to be the new kid on the block I’m not so eager this go ’round. I’d like to build on foundations, not create them again. (Hmmm, I wonder how my kids feel when they change classes every year? But unlike R, who seems to play dress-up and become fast friends with whomever, it takes me a bit longer.) Today I miss my Bal’mer and Berkeley friends.
But. But I know that this temporary view is not all there is. I can think of a few friends here that I would call if there was something to rejoice about, to cry about, to discuss. I can choose to focus on the friendships that continue to grow, even if it isn’t all of them. I can examine my schedule to ensure that I spend time with those who are becoming dear to my heart. And, sigh, I can recognize that I’m not 20-something, single, and living with other girls where late-night conversations deepened relationships exponentially. There are seasons to life, and this is a very different (and yet beautiful) one.
I think I do need to be patient…AND I need to re-frame. May I be grateful for the people who God has put near me–because I “happened” to be in the same toddler class, because we just “happened” to chat during the welcome time at church, because she “happened” to know a mutual friend in CA, because her husband “happened” to work with mine, because we went to school together and “happened” to end up here at the same time, because I “happened” to sit next to her at a Christmas dinner last year.
God, you have not forgotten my need for community. Forgive me for many times overlooking your gifts and demanding more. May I treasure people like You do.