Lady Pastor: Renewed connection with old friends is heartwarming
"It's so nice to be around you guys," my friend Erin said at around 2 a.m. last Sunday. It was a sentiment shared by everyone in the room. Girl talk (of the late-night, PJ-wearing, laugh-until-your-guts-hurt-variety) never gets old.
When I was 19 years old, I lived in a Wartburg College dorm suite with seven other women: Gina, Sarah, Emily, Erin, Angie, Amber and Katie. We joined forces again over the weekend for a reunion in Cedar Falls, Iowa. One suitemate was even able to Skype in from Somaliland!
Laughter, tears, cupcakes, coffee and Twizzlers were our close companions as we caught up on the last 10 years. I relished every second. Being around them felt like mixing up a giant love smoothie with equal parts nostalgia, joy, and authenticity. Agape love is what it's called in the New Testament. The kind of deeply rooted love that perseveres, looks out for one other, and always encourages.
As college sophomores, we were barely out of diapers and just beginning to stretch our wings. We were united in a common bond and stage of life … it was pre-adulthood. A semi-sheltered transitional time of growth and learning.
Being together this past Saturday and Sunday reconnected me to a piece of myself with which I'd lost touch. Nineteen-year-old Emily had become a distant memory in ways. I'd forgotten how much I cherish close, female friends. Women with whom to be thoroughly, almost painfully, vulnerable.
College, especially the early years, was a season in which trust came more naturally to me. I was less guarded. I'd write song lyrics and sing them with my guitar to anyone who would listen. It was a time when true love seemed less daunting and vocational questions seemed destined for resolution. It was nice to rekindle the courageous naivete of that season of life.
The seven women I spent last weekend with are some of my lifetime's greatest role models. They are compassionate and funny, vulnerable and brave, devoted and creative. They've loved me and accepted me separate from anything I've done or neglected to do, and that kind of love is a rare treasure. Across many miles, moves, vocations, life chapters, joys and sorrows, our bond remains.
There was a familiarity in just sharing space with those ladies, and it has continued to warm my heart each day since I got back.
Thank you, Creator of Friendship, for the amazing gift of living life with others. Thank you especially for bonds that last a lifetime no matter the years or miles between.