We knew moving would be bittersweet. We've known it from all along. How can there be no sadness when all you've known from your late teens until your thirties are embedded in a single community? It would be impossible. So this blog could be laced with mustered up positive words of affirmation about what is to come and how we are excited for the things God has for us. But we'd be skirting around the issue that we will miss our friends in Tacoma. We won't miss the rain and gloomy falls, winters, springs, and half of the summer. No folks, we say good riddance to the rain! However, each day we spent with our friends made those days a little less soggy.
Our last day in Tacoma was very special. Friends we've had throughout the years came to wish us well and our church prayed that we'd be blessed. We've only been gone for 24 hours but already some perspective has risen: friendship is a truly powerful force. It is no wonder that David wept when he had to leave his best friend, Jonathan. We wept as we left our best friends and we will continue to wring out the tears because the love we have is so real and deep. We kept saying to everyone, "We'll keep in touch because there's always Facebook!" Pretty lame but it will have to do.
In all of the mixed emotions of moving away there is some truth to acknowledge that is helpful:
1. Tacoma is a 1hour 45 minute plane ride away
2. We have a lot of minutes on our cell plan
3. We didn't die nor did all of our friends die. We will see each other again
4. There's always Facebook
5. Skype is free
6. Our Tacoma friends are LIFETIME friends
7. God called us to move to Salinas
We are interesting creatures in that we can give our lives over to a loving God in order to serve Him, receiving joy and purpose back. Along the way, however, we make connections that grab our heart and warm our souls. Yet, we are taught to hold loosely to these things. Why? Maybe man invented that approach to protect his own heart or maybe God gave us that instruction because He knew our heart's emotions are powerful. I tend to think that it was man's idea so that he would not hurt when he left the presence of those he cared for. We are created in God's image. That means our emotions, in their intended purity, are from God. Sometimes they get mixed up and manipulated but the fact of the matter is that when you love a friend the heartfelt connection is real and pure. You will die for them. Jesus said this was the greatest form of friendship. So, to all those people out there who think you need to hold loosely to friendship because God will call you elsewhere, you are fooling yourself. God will call you but if you keep a safe distance from loving those around you you're missing the point completely.
The heartache we've been feeling today is normal and to be expected. Otherwise, we weren't very good friends in the first place...
Thank you Tacoma friends for the years of love. We will visit and you better make good on your promises to visit us. When you get sad, refer to items 1-7 above.
- Gavin (and Patty)