Let’s do a little recap (yes, even before we get started).
1981 – I was born in Birmingham, Ala.
1988 – After several moves within the city, I move to Jacksonville, Fla.
1990 – My family moves to a different part of Jacksonville.
(Here’s where it gets fun.)
1999 – I move to Tallahassee, Fla., for college.
1999-2002 – I won’t bore you with the details of a plethora in-town moves. I think there were like five of them?
Summer 2002 – I spend two months as a camp counselor in California.
January 2003 – Home, home on the range… er, beach… er, suburbs… I move back to my parents’ house in Jacksonville.
March 2003 – Here I am again, back where I began… or at least 60 miles away. I move to Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Summer 2004 – They always say Campus Crusade summer project will be the best summer of your life, and I never really believed it. But living in Orlando, Fla., for ten weeks with 44 other Campus Crusade for Christ interns was amazing.
August 2004 – With nothing more than a four month commitment on the mind, I return to Birmingham.
I spent the weekend with 21 friends from a number of different states. Georgia and Kentucky aren’t so far away, but Wisconsin, Kansas, New York and others are a heckuva drive. As we laughed at inside jokes (and created new ones!) and shared what the Lord has been doing in our hearts, I couldn’t help but marvel at the oddity that is long distance friendship.
That concept has boggled my mind for years. When I was an eager young Campus Crusader, I never understood why others from my campus would spend so much effort getting to know strangers at Christmas Conference. We’re all going back to different campuses, I thought. Why not focus your energy on the people coming back with you?
In a four day conference setting, I would still maintain that point of view. But as my life progresses, I recognize the value of these friendships.
I’m in a place right now where I don’t have a lot of meaningful friendships. I know people in Birmingham, and it’s getting to the point where I can go out to a movie and not have to do it alone. But the friends who are willing to pray for me regularly and challenge me spiritually are spread throughout the country.
I’ve been a little nostalgic and a little mushy this week, so pardon my non-sensical ramblings. But I look at the number of people in my life who really know and love me, and I feel blessed beyond belief. So right now they’re not in my backyard… but the community I’ve experienced provides both encouragement and a challenge. If God has provided in the past, who am I to say he won’t provide in the present?