Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I've known for a long time about friends - the importance of having good friends. It makes a huge difference in life. Contentment with where you are (in Ecuador, for example) can waiver depending on the state of your friendships. This has come abundantly more clear to me with each passing day living in a foreign country.
At "home", friendships are still just as important. They don't usually, however - until extreme friendship issues occur - cause you to long for somewhere else. Here, then do. Any little flux in friendships, it seems, can change the sense of belonging, comfort and what is "home".
When talking to the kids about staying here in Ecuador or going home, there is a definite pattern. When things are good with friends - we stay. When things so sour - we leave - NOW.
But even more uncomfortable than this tossing and turning of decisions and security is the straight out pain. We feel it so deeply for our kids.
It is frustrating to think that Eric and I celebrate the day when our son comes home and says "Mom, Dad! Carlos* didn't yell at me once today and he even gave me his onions!" (almost a direct quote - hey, the boy likes onions).
*Names changed to protect the guilty.
Or when your daughter says "She might come over! Do you think that means she likes me again? Am I being a good friend?"
Or another daughter deals with a "friend" who makes you feel like a million bucks and her best friend ever one day and treats you like a piece of crap (and somehow has the power to have everyone else treat you that way too) the next...... I've been there before. I don't need to relive those days, but yet I am.... through the heart of my child.
More than ever - partly because the issues increase with age, but partly because the issues have definitely increased with living abroad - I find myself on my knees praying for the kids and their friendships.
I pray that they never, ever hurt other kids the way they are being hurt.
I pray that they don't hurt friends the way I know I have in my past.
I pray that in their pain they will cling, grab on and never let go, jump into the arms of the only Faithful Friend we can always count on.
And that they will feel His arms wrapped tight around them and hear Him whisper "You are a beautiful friend.... I will always love you more than you will ever know."