long-distance friendship

Across college campuses, the newest class of freshmen are moving into their dorms and meeting the people they will share a living space with for the first time. The Class of 2019. Gosh that makes me feel old.

And with all my heart, I want them to find the friends that will carry them through the good, the bad and the ugly for the next four years and beyond.

I just realized this month marks the start of the seventh year of friendship with the best group of friends and roommates I could’ve ever hoped for.

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Oh, we shared bedrooms and bathrooms and cars and impossibly tiny kitchens with no dishwasher or garbage disposal. We had late night panels on clothes and shoes and hair and makeup. We quizzed each other before exams and ate cookie dough and threw dance parties and cried about boys. We read the Bible together and prayed for one another and talked about what it means to be a daughter of the King. And somewhere in all that mundane of just doing life together, we formed inseparable bonds.

Bonds that have remained steadfast even though we now live in four different states and only see each other a couple times a year. Because while we grew side by side our roots became tangled. And so we will never grow apart.

Since graduation, we’ve squealed over job offers and engagements and moves to big cities. We’ve commiserated over the “real world” and felt the growing pains of becoming adults with actual mortgages to pay.

I’m incredibly thankful for my current season of life. This season of investing in my marriage and career and new friendships and ministry opportunities. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But of course I’ll always miss my roommates. Even though we live in the connected age, sometimes it’s hard to connect. Coordinating the schedules of a writer, a teacher, a physician’s assistant, a counselor and three nurses is just as complicated as it sounds.

I wish I could go for a drive with Megan. We’d immediately get lost but it wouldn’t matter because with her everything is an adventure and we have an endless supply of inside jokes. She always makes me laugh until I cry.

I wish I could curl up on the couch with Brooke. We’d talk about marriage and how we’re slowly becoming the women we were meant to be. She always reminds me that I’m never alone.

I wish I could go for a long run with Emily. We’d give each other an extra boost up the hills and laugh about all the awkward things in life. She always encourages me right when I need it most.

I wish I could sit in a hipster coffee shop with Catherine and talk about how we’re really doing and what we can do to make this world a better place. She always demonstrates the kind of love that is found in genuine words and actions.

I wish I could stand on the bleachers at a football game and pretend to cheer but actually people watch and chat with Hannah. She always inspires me to be more patient and kind.

I’m ecstatic I live close enough to Alyssa that we can still have double dates and consult on outfit choices. She always says the things I need to hear.

So.

I will cherish the times we do have. I will ask intentional heart-to-heart questions over phone calls and group texts and Skype sessions and Facebook messages so that we never stop growing. Maintaining your college relationships is important because best friends bring the best out of you.

And I will thank God for these long-distance friendships. It’s one of His greatest gifts.

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