This past weekend I threw a goodbye party for one of my dearest DC friends. We met Brooke through mutual friends about 2 years ago, and she started carpooling to church with us. She is all of my energy and volume, condensed in a blonde package half my size, causing us t frequently joke about Little Brooke’s Big personality. We are super devoted to family dinner in our home, and my brother (or brothers, as my brother in law spent last summer and is spending this summer in DC!) comes over for dinner every Wednesday night. Somehow, Brooke came to this meal once and just never stopped. It feels natural now to include her in the family, the unit that gathers to break bread and laugh, that shows up for each others’ birthdays and accomplishments, that mourns for each others’ sorrows. She’s leaving DC to start law school and it feels like a member of our little family is leaving.
But it’s good too, having friends like that, friends who become such a part of your life that it is terrible to say goodbye. When I look back on the many places I have been blessed to call home over the past 8 years, I feel blessed that these years are marked by many good friends, and thus many painful goodbyes. I think that too often we think we have reached the limit on how many friends we can let into our lives so we stop trying. Maybe this is the extrovert in me talking, but I think we have a much bigger capacity to love people than we realize.
And the thing is, we need friends like this. We need people where we are now. We need community and fellowship and the people that it is hard to say goodbye to. Even being married, you don’t stop needing a community of friends. No other person can be everything you need, not even a spouse who is the best of friends. We were created to love and need people, even if that means a life punctuated by goodbye parties that you are happy to throw, even if you are sad that they have to happen.
Ps: Do yourself a favor and make those salted caramel cupcakes just as soon as you can. I drizzled salted caramel in the batter too, just for good measure.
Yes: “I think that too often we think we have reached the limit on how many friends we can let into our lives so we stop trying. Maybe this is the extrovert in me talking, but I think we have a much bigger capacity to love people than we realize” –I don’t think it’s just the extrovert in you talking. As an introvert that’s bumped up against the “sorry–we’re full here” mentality, I completely agree.
Oh good! I always hesitate to over declare things like that because I worry that Introverts will get offended after all those nine million “Things you don’t understand about Introverts” articles that filled the internet a while back, but I do think it’s true! : )
Your line about needing people where we are now really resonates. A wonderful perspective for the inevitable goodbyes.
We have to have the people! Even if them leaving is THE WORST.
I’m not sure we actually limit the number of friends we have…….they just drift in and out of our lives like snow swirling through the yard on a winter day…..there for the moment filling our lives with beauty when we need it most….some staying around for the long run….some moving along on their journey carried by the breeze from heart to heart until they too settle down to stay.
I agree about having friends who become more like family- they are the ones to whom we are happy to give total ‘refrigerator rights’, and not having them around makes things feel somehow incomplete.
Re. ‘having enough friends thing’- I think the selfishness in us still likes to feel as though we don’t need more people to invest in (though they are welcome to think the world of us!), because we are still caught in the lie that we are self-sufficient and successfully managing our quarter of the universe! We are afraid to let more people in because we are afraid of the cost to our comfort and (sometimes, if we are honest) our ‘cool’. Yet the irony is, like you say, that we NEED people to do life with, in godly fellowship (whether or not they are christian), and are not happy on our own, not long term. We are richer for the true and heartfelt friendships that we have, and are blessed to invest in people who need some more love in their lives, even if they never love us back. Lovely post Hannah.
The ‘refrigerator rights’ are totally the best way of judging things! I just get so fascinated by what people have in those fridges!
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!
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