It has been quite a long time since I have posted on this blog. Things change and life gets in the way and my writing schedules have pulled me in many different directions. But I suppose for now I’m just going to talk about a recent meaningful experience I had.
In order to get to my current story, there has to be a bit of background review. Ever since I can remember, my friends have left me. In retrospect, it wasn’t their fault at all. I never blamed them, it was just always out of our control. In first grade, my best friend’s (at the time) family moved to Oregon to escape the allergies of Lincoln. I still remember sobbing and hugging him for the last time before he had to leave. That same year I believe, my non-blood-related “sister” left and went away to Colorado. A kid named Chris left after third grade as did Casey, if I remember correctly. 5th grade was our class’s highest population. Twenty two students, I think. We were massive, compared to the previous and following years. Many kids only stayed for that one year, unfortunately. Michael and Tommy left for other states and countries. My best friend Nathan left the school system and became home schooled. At least he was still nearby and available to hang out with. Until 8th grade. Then he left for South Carolina. It was a very difficult time for me. Also that year Johan, our Peruvian classmate who’d come in seventh grade, moved to Washington.
Luckily, during my 8th grade year, the 7th grade class was joined with 8th and the boys in the two classes became close. Some of my dearest friendships were formed because of the class combination. The next year was high school and our new friends were still up the hill, now in 8th grade. Our freshman class gained a few new students who became some of my best friends. But at the end of Sophomore year, Davis left. For the rest of high school, most of my friends stuck around and didn’t leave. Though, I had a girlfriend in the class ahead of me for awhile that went off to college and I struggled with goodbyes then too.
After graduation, I realized that this time, I was the one who was leaving for a change. Leaving behind my second home and my friends who’d become like family. Everyone stayed here in town for college, so it was just a change in structure.
A couple months ago, a handful of my graduated friends and high school friends gathered at a lake house we frequented during the summer. It was a soup supper and we were all in good spirits. Then all at once we were discussing whether or not one of my friends should go to La Sierra college in California. It came up suddenly and I felt the same feeling inside I always felt when a friend talked of going away. A tight, sick, nervous black hole in my chest that drips into my stomach. Its an awful sensation. But its what always comes over me. No resolution came from the discussion, but the thought kept itself wedged in the back of my mind.
It was awhile after that night when the matter came up again. This time it was laced with other issues and my insides felt like they were melting. I was driving and asking God why these things bothered me so much. My mind felt like a piece of paper being crumpled up, soon to be thrown away. It was about this time that an epiphany struck me. I attribute it to God, of course. For some reason, I thought about heaven and being there. This time, though, I pictured what it would be like. It hit me that my friends would be there. All of my friends, ideally. The ones that have moved away and the ones that will still leave my life. The family members that have and will die. Even pets. Our family’s dog, Tallie, is getting old, and I tear up when I think about her time approaching.
Heaven is a curtain call and we’re actors in the play of life. God’s the director and all He wants to do is party with us after we put on the show of our lives. That night in the car, I felt like God was next to me in the passenger seat, telling me that He planned heaven for me (and everyone) even before I was born. Before I grew to love the people around me. Heaven is a reunion of sorts. I’ve heard it called that, but I couldn’t ever relate to it until now. Now heaven is the best thing I could ask for; seeing everyone I once knew on earth and meeting for the first time the Creator who made us all.