(Insert Kenny Rogers singing Through the Years) LOL
Many years ago, although it really feels like it was just the other day, when we were newly married and attending college, we met another young couple who were living the same life we were. That is, the husbands were in college, both felt called to the ministry, and both wives were working full-time putting them through school. We happened to live in the same apartment complex. In fact, we were neighbors that shared a bedroom wall that lent itself to lots and lots of good "just married" jokes.
I don't remember the first time we met. I just know that we hit it off and quickly became good friends. We didn't realize then that it would be the kind of friendship that transcends time. We couldn't see ahead to know that even though there would be months and years and many, many miles between us we would have the ability to pick up wherever we had left off. We didn't have any idea that God had such a wonderful plan arranged for us. We just knew we were sharing the same goals and struggles and we bonded tighter than glue.
It wasn't long before Carrie and I both discovered we were pregnant. And we were thrilled. How fun to share such a special time of life together. We gave birth to little girls within two months of each other. It wasn't long after that (six months to be exact) we discovered we were both pregnant again. This time we weren't so thrilled. Within 5 weeks we delivered our second kids, she a son - me another daughter.
Our guys graduated from college that fall and that was when the miles began to separate us. We went on to seminary and they went on to pastor a church. Five years later while in different states we gave birth to little girls within 6 months of each other. It seemed to be something orchastrated from above -as we certainly didn't set out to design our families simultaneously. Apparently the stars weren't aligned just right in 1995 and 1996 because oddly our fourth kids were born a whole year apart.
As the years rolled on there was a one year period of time when we pastored churches 10 miles from each other and we got to see each other often. But then they moved to another state and we have never had that privilege again.
One of the things we had always dreamed about was going on a family vacation to the Land of the Mouse together. As our kids grew we realized it was now or never. So the summer before our oldest girls were going to be seniors, the twelve of us met in Southern California and spend a wonderful week together.
I'm so glad we did that. We made wonderful memories and we have never been able to do it again. Sometimes you just have to seize the moment and make your dreams come true.
Fast forward to 2008. We both had two married children each at this point. And it came as absolutely no surprise to Carrie or me that we learned that we would become grandmothers - at the same time! Sure enough, her Angie had Beth and my Michelle had Tyler during the month of May! My Andrea had Ava Claire in September and a little boy will arrive to her Josh in September of this year. And so it goes.
This week we have the wonderful privilege of having Carrie's precious daughters and little granddaughter visiting us. Last night as Beth and Ava Claire were sitting on the floor playing my eyes welled up with tears. Who ever would have dreamt all those many years ago when two couples met on an unremembered day that one day our grandchildren would be playing together!
Thank you God for the blessing of friendships! We know you were behind this one and that we will be best friends forever!