friends near and far.

Last week some good friends we lived with in South Asia passed through Columbia and stopped in for the afternoon. It’s been three years and some change since we left so suddenly, one dusty, blinding-hot June morning. Since then we’ve built a whole life here in Columbia. We have work that we love. God brought us our sons. There is much to be grateful for.

Still, we carry our memories of South Asia like a wound that’s scabbed over. Every once in awhile we ache to be building our life there instead of here. Sometimes we talk about the “what if’s.” And so when any of our South Asia friends — the ones we planned to laugh and cry and raise our kids and sprout gray hairs with — come back to the States, we snatch at the chance to see them.

When I’m with them, even for a few hours, another tiny part of me heals. We’ve been through some of our darkest moments together, seen the worst parts of each other, and learned what real friendship looks like. My friend Maggie walks through my house and knows the exact shop where I bought my sofas and hand-stitched quilt, and who gave me the painted porcelain dish on the side table. We pick up right where we left off and can barely cram all the words into several short hours.

And through it all I see that God is faithful to them and He’s faithful to us. We’ll always be friends, near and far.

Our children’s reunion last week, after three years apart, only confirmed it (and we’ve collectively added four kids since then!). After they left, Judah pulled me aside and said, “Mom, I’m sad you had to get sick. Because I really miss India.”

Me too, buddy. Me too.

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