In college, that changed: I found I could make friends and that, when I did, it was with an intense love based on the deepest desires of our hearts--for God, for heaven, for holiness. After college, most of my friends entered convents and seminaries. I married. And the good-byes were along the lines of, "Well, I'll see you in heaven!" We didn't expect ever to see one another again for any extended period of time. It sounded morbid, but one friend--now a Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ--waved good-bye after my wedding and sang, "We'll be together in about 60 years!" Meaning: when we're both dead.
And it was true. The sisters all have a mission that leaves little room for particular friendships; I have a family that consumes my whole being right now.
But here in the Deep South, we have found friends in the same state of life, or who are single, with whom we share again those deepest meanings and longings of the heart. We want the same things for our spouses--joy in Christ--and for our children--to know the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
It is hard to leave and say good-bye.
We have high hopes, however: in Christ it is not morbid to think of death when saying good-bye. It is a hope in the things to come, that all this will be made whole and most well. We believe that these dear friends will be with us again, and these few years we shared so closely here will manifest their fullest meaning There.
This is what it is hard to say--who talks like that? But we believe it.
Now it's been some weeks of good-byes to dear friends in Atlanta.