I can think of no other reason why we hurt so much when friends move away. Why we miss our spouses when they are gone on trips. Why when those we care about so deeply are away from us.
I wonder why when we make friends, we don’t evaluate what the outcome of our friendship with them will truly be. Would people still become friends with others if they knew that there would be times when they might be separated? No doubt we all know that in starting a friendship with someone (especially in college) that it will not be long before they move back home to where they first came from or to Paducah or Austin, or Memphis where they have found jobs. Yet for some reason, we always open ourselves up. We take the chance. We say, I am going to expose myself to whatever may happen in being in relationship with these wonderful people.
I heard a friend once say that, “The level of our hurt is equal to the level of our love.” Perhaps this is why every relationship that has ever existed has presented this dichotomy where in order to pursue friendship, bond, companionship, and union there must be sacrifice. We must make ourselves vulnerable to what may happen when that bond is somehow broken. I think without this vulnerability our relationships would be flat, empty and meaningless. Fortunately, the broken bond often only means a distance of a thousand miles or so.
Lately many of my friends have moved or are going to be moving away. They will be starting jobs as Therapists, Ministers, Actors, and Physicists. For some reason, Abilene is not the place where all those dreams can come true. I have also felt this separation anxiety in that recently Krista spent a week in Mexico. While she was gone, there was an incessant battery of questions regarding where she was at. It seemed as if each one was another reminder of the fact that she was not with me and an even more vivid reminder of the vulnerability which we gladly and willingly bear for the sake of love and friendship.
As my friends leave for their new jobs, the feelings I have are bitter sweet. I am excited to see how God is blessing them in their lives and how they are gaining exciting experiences, but at the same time, I am experiencing the pains of separation anxiety. Selfishly, I do not want any of them to leave. Had I known I would have been feeling all these things when I first met them…I am sure I would not have done anything different. I know the relationship I have with them is due to the fact that I didn’t hold anything back. I wish all my friends the best as they pursue their careers and bless the Kingdom of God.