September 8, 2014

Every New Beginning

I remember the night I graduated from high school.  The event I had been anticipating all year, maybe all four years.  We spent so much time planning that night, from the decorations to the music to our speeches.  Time spent trying to decide how to summarize the last four years into a five minute speech.  Hours shopping for the perfect dress to show that I was classy yet fun, studious yet playful.  Then I'd make the call to my friend.

"What are you wearing to graduation?"
"Is your dress long or short?"
"Are you going to wear your dress to the school or bring it with you?"
"Are you bringing something else to change into after?"
"Are wearing your hair down or up?"

Nothing in high school can be left to chance.

{Insert high school graduation photo here.  Except they're all packed, so we have to use our imaginations.}

While not a flash back to high school, these were taken in 2009 and 2010.

Friends who vacation-in-Maui-with-a-9-month-old-together, stay together. 2010

I remember after the graduation ceremony was over, taking picture after picture and giving hug after hug to my friends that I'd seen every day for the last four years.  This event I had anticipated for so long was now passing, and I didn't want it to end.  With all the excitement of graduating, I forgot.  I forgot I wouldn't see my friends first thing the next morning.  I forgot I wouldn't slide fancy-folded notes in their lockers or share lunches the next week.  We wouldn't be sharing secrets and inside jokes in the five minutes while waiting for the bell to ring.  It was over.  My life with these friends would never be exactly the same.  We'd still be friends.  But that life was over.

New Year's Eve 2010

The best part of my life was ahead of me, but I didn't know it at the time.  All I knew was a sense of loss that life as I knew it was ending, changing into something unknown.

I feel like it's high school graduation, and while I can guess the best is yet to come, I also know that life is changing, and with that comes loss of the familiar comfort we've found in each other.  These friends have been with me through thick and thin the last five years.  Births and deaths, confidence and fear, joy and sorrow, we've seen it all.  I know it's not ending, just changing.  And change can be so good.  But.  There's still a but.

Celebrating a new life 2012

My heart overflows with good memories and thankfulness that these friends were part of my daily life for a time.  We now have the chance to experience friendship of a different sort - long distance.  We now have opportunities to use our time to be intentional in loving each other in new ways.  A chance to grow and be creative in our love.


Growing larger every year 2013

I'm left remembering songs we played during our graduation (and possibly yours if you graduated around 2000).  A favorite line from an old Green Day song that goes "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."  So profound, that Green Day.  But the high school song I've chosen to commemorate this group is another cheesy throwback, from Michael W. Smith.  Anyone who grew up in youth group in the '90s will remember this classic.

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
I can't believe the hopes He's granted
Means a chapter in your life is through

But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
Into the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

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