To my best friend
As I stand here next to you at the altar, on the threshold of a whole new chapter in your life I feel proud, I share your joy, I anticipate so many good things for you. And, and I dread the end of our friendship.
You are finally getting all the things you’ve longed for and dreamed about for all these years. Walking the journey closely with you, as only the very best friends can do, I suffered the valleys with you and now rejoice as you go to enter that Promised Land. I’ve encouraged you, helped set you up, laughed and cried with you. I rejoiced with you at major celebratory feasts and those perfect shoes that went with just about everything. I delighted more than you at all the beautiful jewellery gifted to you. I was there when you faced the battles, big and small, and listened as you regurgitated every minute detail of what was said in those conflicting moments until your perception of reality wandered from the truth and back again. I heard the anguish of your heart as you recounted fights and misunderstandings and stubbornness and pride. Then celebrated with you when you finally understood how much God wanted this for you.
As I stand beside you now, in this honoured position that is a small token of all we shared, I worry that this promise now received will come between us, and ultimately spell the end.
It’s only right and good that you go forth and revel in marriage and family and career success, and all the good things the Promise Land has to offer. It’s only right and good that I celebrate with you and cheer you on. I’ve worked with you to remove mountains and conquer giants and grow so that you would reach this day. I want this for you, so much. Maybe even more than you want it for yourself.
Yet, I fear that in this new land you will forget the friendship of the old land. You will forget me.
As I stand here dressed in my best and raising my glass in a toast to your future joy, I reminisce on our early morning Saturday walks where we’d talk for hours before finally enjoying brunch in the comfortable silence that only years of friendship can bring. With all the preparations for this day and changes new things bring, our Saturday tradition has already become a thing of the past and I wonder if our daily chats will also soon disappear. Will our friendship fade to nothing as your priorities change? Will we only see each other on Sundays or will an occasional comment on Facebook be our only meeting? You always say I’m getting way ahead of myself, and this time I may. But I’ve seen it happen to other friends who get their dream and leave their past friendships behind, not even noticing them fade.
I worked to so hard these last years to be a great best friend to you; supporting, guiding, providing, forgiving you and loving you. Now I know you’re ready for this. But I’m not sure I am. Not sure if I can say good-bye and let you go.
This new land, this promise, holds only the best; marriage and children, land and health, learning and growing, and a rest from constant battles and wonderings. I’m excited for you, so excited! You’ll have a spouse to love you and talk to, and children to enjoy. Your home will be full of laughter and good food, abundant food and “flowing with milk and honey.” It will be a good time, a great time, the very best of times, and so different to anything we have experienced so far. But…
But, please, please, don’t forget me, don’t leave me behind. I am not only the best friend of your past; I also want to be the best friend of your future. Please continue to let me do life with you. Yes, share your life and secrets, joys and sorrows with new friends and new family, but also share your heart with me. I want to continue to build on this friendship we have and walk with you through births and grey hairs and growing old. I want to hold your hand as you take your final breath and enjoy those first moments of heaven with you. Please, let me still be your best friend.
With an eternity of love,
Inspired by: “6 Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.” Deuteronomy 8:6-11
How easy it is to forget Jesus Christ when our need for Him is blurred by the rose-coloured glasses of success and blessings. As older singles know, when a close friend gets married the friendship changes. This is right and good. The newly wed often doesn’t notice and the old friend is left to accept and adjust. Sometimes a new relationship can be the end of a long friendship simply because priorities shift and what was once a highly valued, much-needed friend is now just another chore to do on the To Do List. Like the Israelites who forgot God in all the joys of finally being in the Promised Land and the abundance of blessings, we too can forget Him in the easier times, the times when everything is going ok and life is good. The temptation to leave our friendship with Jesus behind in thrill of the exciting new life is high but… but maybe that’s the time we need Him more.
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