One of my sweet best friends from college, D., has a business location at the beach that necessitates keeping a house in Florida--lucky girl! Earlier this week, the kiddos and I loaded up the Suburban for a long drive to spend a couple of days with D. and another college bestie, S.
Life has taken us each to separate states, so we have made a concerted effort over the years to get away together to reconnect. Over the years our phone calls have gotten fewer and farther between, but there is no doubt when we are together that we still 'know' each other. I always marvel at the beautiful growth that has taken place in each of my friends between visits.
This trip was a bit different because it was the three of us (Daddies stayed behind to work) with 5 of our combined 8 children (and a nephew thrown in for good measure!) It was chaotic. It was noisy. Our plans were thwarted by storms. There were foibles (literally almost missing a boat, being pooped on by a sea gull flying overhead, wet beds, seasickness, grouchy kiddos) but there was also much laughter.
We got to do something that is rare for old friends scattered about with growing families--we DID life together for a few days, warts & all. This wasn't a sanitized Christmas card view of life. It was overtired children, disciplinary interactions & bedtime snuggles. It reminded me of the importance of having people who really know you, perhaps summed up by this quote from Frederick Buechner.
“What we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are . . . because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier . . . for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own . . . ”
― Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets
It was a LOT of driving (7 hours each way) for a brief 3 day visit...but getting to see 'my girls' in a bit of their element helps me know them more. And it encourages me to keep seeking deep relationships where I can know others and be really known by them. This is the type of community God designed us for...iron sharpening iron for our good and His Glory.