Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold.
There is a lot of silver and gold this time of year, on the tree, in the house, in the stores... and a whole lot of it exchanging hands. But it's those silver and gold friendships that shine like a light this time of year.
We just returned from three days in our former hometown, staying with my parents, doing our best to stimulate the economy, as Josh says. We still go to the dentist there, get our cars fixed there, and I always make a hair appointment when I go. And then there's my favorite things to eat there and my favorite shops. But what I love, and miss, the most, of course, are those wonderful "old" friends.
It's impossible to see everyone we want to, but I love the little gifts from God, of seeing a friend I didn't expect to. I turned a corner in Marden's and there was a friend! A ring of the doorbell after dark and there was a friend, bringing the most unique and delicious cookie! I had a wonderful, two hour conversation with an amazing godly woman when I dropped her daughter off from a playdate with mine. I popped in to see my Kelly-girl and she gave me a lovely handmade necklace that I've received so many compliments on already.
I confess, driving into our "old" hometown is like salt in a wound. I'm coming to realize that what we had there (to me we had it "all") will never be matched again.
But then we drove home. And we were coming home an hour before some of our homeschooling friends were showing up for a Christmas party. A Christmas party that was rather impromptu, but we decided to just do it. And it was wonderful. It came together easily because we have new friends that we're getting comfortable with. They don't care what my house looks like. They understand the imperfections of my children and are patient with the slow work of maturing in them. We laugh and talk easily, the kids run out to play in the snow, we're honest about our struggles.
And when everyone has gone home, I put my finger on this lightness in my soul, this joy and gratitude that is there. We have wonderful old silver friends and we are making wonderful new golden friends. And I think, the refining of silver and gold is slow, it's not without fire, it takes time and trial to make something precious.
I had eight years to build lasting friendships with those people. I shouldn't be surprised that, in our new hometown, the process of making and building new and precious friendships is slow. But sure.
Every year, for Christmas, I ask for "something special". Friendships, old and new, are some of the best gifts I've ever received.