As the time of our move draws near the thought keeps running thru my mind, "I'm not gone yet, stay engaged, live it here for all it's worth". It is my personal desire to finish well here before we move on, to maintain and go as deep as possible with friendships before distance gets in the way.
Many days this is very tragic and heartbreaking for me, because for every wonderful connect I have with friends and every outing to visit some of my favorite places I am left with the reality that these are memories I will have to cherish from afar. One day recently I went for my time in the prayer room and just wept as I thought of all the fun fellowship I had been having with friends.
All day I had felt the heaviness of sadness, and I knew I had to get away to the prayer room to express my sorrows to the Lord. My heart needed to 'speak' and although I wasn't entirely sure what it would say, I knew I needed to let it out.
Turns out my heart wanted to speak of its regret. After four and a half years in Kansas City, I have lots of friends, some of them dearer to me than any others I've had in my life. Now that the time has come for us to leave, I've discovered that I have not been very intentional in these relationships and how much I may have missed out on.
It's not that I haven't gone deep with women, or been truly open with them. It's that I haven't gone out of my way to make time for them in a weekly/monthly sense. Every memory I have with them is sweet and I grow so much from being with and around them, but now I realize I could have made so many more memories. It has brought me to a place of regret. For all the times I could have called one of these sweet friends up and made time to hang out, I told myself 'no, I'll see them next week' and put it off. Now I'm going far away and when I get there, I won't be able to just 'pop over' for a visit with these women. It's so sad to me.
So I wept in the prayer room, and it was a nice release and the Lord comforted me with His presence. He is Someone I can always 'pop in on' and He loves me more than all these friends of mine combined. What a well timed reminder.
As I sat there and soaked in the prayer room, I told myself I would not do this again in the next place we lived. Then I think I heard the Lord 'chuckle' to my heart, and so I rephrased my determination to 'I will try not to do this again...'. It was enough, and then I set my heart to take these next six weeks and pour myself out on as many friends as I could. This week alone I have something planned with a friend almost every single day, and although I know I will probably wear myself out doing all of these 'outings', it will be worth it to me in the long run.
These sweet Kansas City friends of mine are worth every second if I get to show them my love and friendship to them one more time.
Thankfully another sweet reminder the Lord gave me in the prayer room: I am not who I use to be when it comes to long distance relationships.
When I first moved to Kansas City I was not good at keeping in touch with far off contacts and friends. Even keeping up with family was a stretch for me sometimes. Through learning how to support raise as missionaries and also in just having people take an equal partnership in keeping the connect, I have now learned how to continue relationships even from afar. Not only have I learned how to continue them, but how to grow and add to them even though I am not local. That is encouraging to me, because now I can use those skills as I prepare to add to my 'pen pal' list.
It works best though if the communication goes both ways though, wink.
One of my saddest thoughts though is all the friends who are having babies after I move - I won't get to see or hold their little bundles in person and that makes me almost want to cry. I've prayed for so many of these babies, I seriously can't wait to meet who I've been praying for - so send me lots of pictures (moms, you know who you are).