The 18th of March, 2008. My two best friends from college, Tara and Joni, will each remember this day for the rest of their lives. For one, the day was marked by death, while for the other, birth. I was honored to hold one's hand in person, and yet both in prayer.
My friend, Tara, said goodbye to her dad today after an unexpected five-week battle with pancreatitis. I sat and cried with her at the hospital as the surreal experience of losing her father slowly settled in for both of us. The Lord brought her father to salvation during his battle in the hospital, leaving Tara, her brother, and their mother at peace with his Homecoming, though heartbroken over the loss. Yet, in the midst of the sadness, both Tara and I took respite in a text message from Nashville announcing that our friend Joni's baby was on his way into the world. By the day's end, our friendship had experienced the circle of life.
Laboring, loving, trusting, surrendering, saying hello, saying goodbye, tears of joy, tears of pain, Heaven-bound, Heaven-sent, the beginning, the end, the Lord gives, the Lord takes away, believing in His faithfulness, experiencing His faithfulness, remembering the past, anticipating the future...on the same day, at the same time.
Some friendships know the bounds of seasons and sentimentality. Others tread right on through the snowy, muddy terrains of life, and remain past the first buds of spring. Some friends journey the seasons together. I'm blessed to be a part of so many such circles of life.