We survived! A whole 5 nights apart. It is amazing to me how I lived for decades of my life sleeping alone in my bed, but after less than 5 months of marriage I have grown to expect someone else lying beside me. When I say someone else I don't just mean anyone I am talking specifically about Jeremy. I do not expect to find random other people lying beside me - just to clarify.
I had such a great week with my friend Amy and her girls, Emma and Abby. I was really able to enjoy and appreciate some good ol' fashioned girl time including but not inclusive our week saw a trip to the hair salon, glitter, tea parties, Hannah Montana: the movie and Grey's Anatomy. Of course thoughts of Jeremy passed though my head throughout the day but it was at night, alone in my bed that I really missed him. He was three hours ahead in Atlanta so when I was falling into bed at 1am (which turned into quite the habit, didn't it Amy?!) he was well and truly in the land of nod so I couldn't even call to hear his voice before I fell asleep.
I am so thankful for friends like Amy and her family. People God has brought into my world to be my extended family. I am blessed to watch and participate in the lives of their children. I have a place to be transparent and accepted, a place to laugh, and a place to ask for prayer. I am so grateful that I have so many such friends around the world and here in Seattle. Some recent life events have made me more and more aware of the nurturing we must do in order to protect and deepen these relationships.
I am recognising that for a long time I tried to have the same kind of depth and intimacy in all of my relationships. I valued fairness and not playing favourites. I let that value over ride the truth that it is impossible to maintain all my relationships to the same depth. It was also not a safe thing for me to try and share my heart and struggles in such detail with everyone. I was pouring myself out and yet not being poured into. It was an unhealthy balance as i strived to maintain 'fairness'. I wanted to give of myself evenly to those in my world.
After Jeremy and I got married, we wanted to be together all the time and for a few weeks that's how life happened. In this short time I had some what of a relational epiphany. I realised that in many of my relationships it was always my initiation which led to meeting for coffee or hanging out and when I stopped pursuing in the same way, some relationships fall away. I am not saying that I stopped wanting to be friends with people but I realised that I didn't need to keep everyone on the same page about everything for our relationships to exist. Some people we will see at parties, catch up with, laugh with, and that can be our relationship. It doesn't mean we don't like each other or care about each other but maybe just that our lives have moved us into different places and we have less in common now.
This epiphany also provided an opportunity to recognise those relationships which were more important. Friends who are steadfast and true. People who call as much as they are called and who are in a similar stages of life. People we interact more regularly with and really open up to about the nitty-gritty of life.
What a delight to have a community of people to belong to, and invite others to be a part of. People from different generations, of different nationalities, wanting to live life together. What freedom to be able to invest in the lives of others as we too have people investing in us. How amazing that God recognises the importance of us building a community, and by doing it well that other people might know we are followers of Christ through the love we show each other.
May we strive to care well for each other. To listen, learn , love, forgive and be forgiven. May we foster an atmosphere of transparency, generosity, faith, joy and confession. May we learn to love well. Offer a meal to a sick friend, an afternoon of childcare to a busy mom, a car and a morning to help someone move, our prayers always.
I hope that as we moved further into this new year, Jeremy and I will be allowing God to speak to our hearts about how we can better love those around us, each other, our friends, our family, our neighbours. Please help us understand the beauty that as we love you more deeply we will be moved to love others more freely too.
With Emma at Balboa park.