Yesterday some people from our old church were passing through, not too far from where we live, so we made arrangements to meet them for dinner. It was fun to catch up, see how they had changed (one daughter is a zillion times taller than she used to be, the wife’s hairstyle has changed). These are folks whom we were pretty good friends with – they watched our dog when we were out of town, we sold them our car when we switched to a different one. We learned that our previous vehicle, which we got rid of because of high gas mileage but they wanted for hauling their camper (it was an suv) got sideswiped by a semi with her in the vehicle – scary stuff! So our previous car is no more.
Not that we’re upset, we let go of that vehicle a long time ago. But it is weird to think about the changes we have missed by not being around them on a weekly (or more) basis. Picking topics to chat about was difficult too, because we didn’t really want to know a lot about what’s going on at the church. Well, we do, but we know that ethically we can’t really comment so it’s better to not know. Of course we still learned a few things along the way, but for the most part it’s just a matter of having to release our former congregation into God’s care and know that He will watch out for them despite whatever human nonsense goes on. We know it was true in God leading us to that church and to this one. In both cases, my husband wasn’t exactly what the people wanted and the church wasn’t exactly what we expected. But he and the church were both exactly what the other one needed. I know God will do the same with their next pastor.
The hardest part about meeting them for a brief dinner is that it felt like we were only just catching up on news when they had to hit the road again. I don’t begrudge them that – they still had a three hour drive ahead of them. But it is difficult to see people temporarily and then let them go again. In some ways it brings up the old feelings of homesickness all over again. I hate that. Not that I want to cut them out of my life, but I just miss having people around me who feel like old friends. I know that will happen again, but in the meantime I just miss them.