Wednesday, June 28, 2006

leaving....


This morning one of my very best friends and most influential mentors left with her family and belongings to move to South Dakota for a job promotion. The Dilling family rescued us. They swooped into our family when we were the most overwhelmed and underprepared, when our defenses about presenting a perfect family persona were compromised....they saw our junk and loved us anyway.

Kent and Natalie showed us that the "pop-in" is a sign of true intimacy and affection.....true community is about having friends who will just drop in, and it's okay. It's those people who you feel so comfortable with that you don't have to apologize for the appearance of the house or explain why there are piles of laundry all over the living room. They are the people who show up with random food items at meal time to combine with whatever random food items you might have, and you have the most amazing meal together...they are the friends who keep your kids regardless of what else they have planned, including them as part of their own family....they help with household projects like stripping wallpaper, putting up shelves in the garage, and hanging amazing tree swings....they are the friends who call you in the morning to make sure you're out of bed and tell you what God's shown them in scripture that day (and not to make themselves seem more holy, but because they really love you)....they are the friends who ask you hard questions about how much you're loving God and how your life choices reflect that....they kick your butt when you're being a jerk, and love you when you're in the mirey pit of depression.

It's a sad day today, even though I was trying to pretend it wouldn't be that big of a deal. It's not over, we have cell phones, we'll visit and send pictures and still encourage eachother....but it makes me so incredibly grateful to have tasted authentic community outside of the college setting.....and incredibly determined to never again be satisfied with less.

2 comments:

erin said...

amazing blog today! thank you...

The Eastvold Blog said...

I'm sad for you, too. When we lived in Silver Spring, Maryland, we had friends (not quite as close as yours, but still people we could always talk to) who lived across the parking lot from us (same apartment complex, different building.) We routinely "popped in" for dinner at each other's apartments, often combining whatever was in our respective refrigerators, as you said. I slept over there a few times when Jonathan was teaching up in Princeton and I was feeling lonely. Dave felt free to come over whenever he needed to blow off some steam about work or politics. I spent one of the strangest nights of my life over at their place the night of the 2004 presidential election. (This involved Laura cramming for a Greek exam, Dave rooted to his chair in utter despondency all night long, me absolutely exhausted from working a 16-hour day at the polls (while 5 months pregnant), and a surprise visit from a mutual acquaintance clad in polar bear pajamas, whose wife told him he had to leave if he wanted to watch the election coverage.)
Anyway... it's great to have friends like that, although it sounds like your relationship with Kent and Natalie went much deeper, too. We have family here in Springfield (which we didn't really have in DC), but at the same time, we don't have good Christian friends near our age who can kick our butts, keep us accountable, swap kids with us, and do "pop-ins." We'd love to have that kind of relationship with someone.
By the way, thanks so much for coming over on Monday night! Your girls are great, and I know Charlie enjoyed so much playing with them.

KPE