This weekend we went to a wedding of an old college teammate and roommate of mine, and it evoked all the emotions. The whole way home I thought about these friendships, these girls that I only really knew for four years; such a short time in the grand scheme! In the literal sense, these were not the girls I grew up with, but in a very real sense, these were exactly the girls I grew up with.
This is four years, just four years. What seems like such a long time as you're approaching it, and maybe even while you're going through it, turns into just a small blurb on your resume one day.
Where did you go to school? What did you study? What do you do now? These questions become the center of adult conversations.
Maybe it is because I don't have a career outside the home. Maybe it's because I studied within a major that never offered me a better professor than the amazing teacher I'd had in high school. Or maybe it's because I'm a sentimental fool, but an education was actually my least valuable take-away from four years in college.
*gasp* How can you say that?!
I am absolutely thankful for my college education! Don't get me wrong. But I learned so many more valuable life and relational skills in my four years in college. I learned about myself. I learned about Christ. I learned about loving others. I learned about priorities, discipline, consideration, and communication. I made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I learned how to move forward from them. I learned about conflict and resolution and how to love people through those, and I learned that I could be loved through my difficult times as well. These girls taught me that I could be accepted and loved, just as I am, even during disagreements.
I grew up.
When you live with, travel with, practice with, even shower with, the same people day in and day out, it really accelerates the relationship process, and you have to learn how to get along. My word, I didn't even spend that much time with my own sister! When you are thrust into a world of unknowns, away from your family, in this big world, it is not the classes you take, the parties you go to, or the sports that you play, which define you. Those things might be a big part of your experiences, but so many of the specifics will fade away as the years go by. The classes you took, the parties you went to, even your professors names, will soon fade from your memories.
But if you're lucky, even if you don't keep in touch perfectly, even if you're separated by hundreds of miles or busy schedules, those people you grew up with will forever feel like home.
As young kids on these grand adventures, often this lesson is easy. Love others. That's pretty simple. Treat others as you want to be treated. Learn how to get along through thick and through thin.
As adults, we tend to walk around with more of a chip on our shoulders; a my way or the highway attitude. We become picky about the people we allow into our lives, and the people we allow to stay. We cut people out easily, with little to no remorse, over disagreements, and we find quotes to help justify our actions, and make us feel validated in turning people away.
I'm not saying that it isn't sometimes necessary to do this. God does tell us to be wise about the company we keep. It just happens with so much more frequency than it did while we were growing up.
You don't always get to choose the people that get placed in your life. Love them like you would if you had no other choice, and they just may become family.
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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