I’ve come to learn that New York can’t promise the subways will run on schedule or that all your dreams will become a reality or that you’ll be swept up Carrie Bradshaw style and your life will be Pinterest perfect.
NYC can, however, promise that change will be the only thing constant in your life.
It’s a funny place really. At any moment, a new person could jump into (or out of) your life, out of the cadence of your normal. I guess that’s what happens when you live in such a transient city where everyone is resisting the rest of the world’s script to settle down, plant roots. I’d like to think I’m in the camp of wanting to settle down, but if I really ponder on it – I’m just as transient as the rest of them.
Well, over the past couple of months I’ve become close friends with a new crew of people. An amalgamation of misfits, a collection of personalities and true characters – I could probably write novels already about each one of them. And it’s funny because we’re still not quite sure how it all happened. One day we barely knew each other (if at all) and the next day we were instant friends. Literally. I’m chalking it up to a divine conspiracy. Personally, I’m always amazed by God’s provision and the way he plops people into my path when I least expect it. It makes me immensely grateful and excited to see what else He has up His sleeve.
And in the past four years (yikes, four years!) people like these folks have shaped my NYC experience, slipped into my heart and have made my toughest days manageable. They have been my cheerleaders, mirrors that I needed and the friendship I craved as a kid. So when community changes and people leave, I find that part of me breaks a little bit. I avoid the reality like the plague and refuse to come to terms with the fact that what once was is no longer there. And sure, it can still be good, but it’ll never be the same. Please tell me I’m not the only one that has ever felt this way?
Let me give you a picture of the current reality that I’m refusing to cope with:
One of my best friends Britt is moving to Dallas. This week. As in Saturday. Yes, I’m upset about it. No, I haven’t cried…yet. And yes, actually, I do want to talk about it because Luke told me I’m a verbal processor and that’s what I do.
I met Britt when she was an intern many summers ago. She was oozing with personality, set aflame for Jesus and confident as all get out. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be like her or steer clear of her. Luckily for me, she didn’t give me a choice. Post-graduation she sashayed her way back to the Big Apple and ended up staying at our apartment the majority of her first few months so she wouldn’t have to trek all the way out to Long Island every night. And over the past two years I’ve watched this girl who I was (kinda) mentoring grow into a woman I was being mentored by.
Britt has taught me so much about courage and strength and is 100% the most generous person I know. She’s pulled out my goofy and has given me confidence boosts by screaming, “You’re 26 and HOT!” in my face. She’s fearless. Concerned only with being herself, she’s made me laugh more than I thought humanly possible. She’s also fed me lots of wine over the past two years and I’m totally not mad about that. And while most people only see the loud and boisterous Britt, I’ve gotten to see this fiery redhead tame down and get really vulnerable. And it’s super beautiful. Because that’s what happens when you get in close community with people. Things get real.
So it sucks right? Why do things like this have to come to an end? It seems cruel and mean and just not fair. Kinda like you’re being sucker punched.
What I realized is that while I’m angry-journaling to God screaming, “But God. But God!” – He’s all cool, calm and collected soothing, “I hear you. I know you’re in pain, but I am God and I have a plan.” Fine. Touche. We’ll go it your way. And for that I have to trust that just as He brought people like Britt and my new crew of friends into my life, He will sweep in lovingly again when I need it most. When they need it most. Because He can do that. Because He’s God. And I’m pretty stoked that He’s on my side.
So when community changes I’m going to have to trust in His goodness. Trust that He’s got her back and my back. So I’ll cry a lil – it’s okay to not be made of steel all the time. And I’ll soak up the present, knowing that come Monday I’ll have a gaping hole the size of Texas in my heart.
I’ll be faithful, because He’s faithful. I’ll believe that my great and powerful and wild God will change hearts and write love stories and move people across the country because it’s all a part of His grander Glory plan. And whether we want to or not, we all get to be a part of that narrative.
And that is pretty dang cool.
When Community Changes
May 24, 2016