I’m one of those girls that will refer to everyone as my best friend. Here’s the thing though: I mean it, every single time. All of my friends truly are the best, and I couldn’t love them more.
The hardest part about having so many precious humans that I love so deeply: I can’t be with all of them all of the time. As a matter of fact, most of my friendships are long distance.
Shout out to Chicago, St Louis, New York City, Phoenix, Cleveland, nearly every city in Texas, Canada and even Finland for being home to my people. Also, thanks for forcing me to memorize all of the world’s time zones- a skill that definitely comes in handy every once in a while.
How does this work for me? Honestly, it doesn’t. “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” is sometimes true, but mostly it’s just a Band-Aid phrase used to patch up the wound that distance creates.
So how do we make it through those long days/weeks/months/years without seeing each other? Obviously, there’s the typical response of “technology is a beautiful thing,” (snapchat is SUCH a blessing- added bonus that the puppy filter looks way too naturally cute on me) but really there’s so much more than technology in long-distance friendships.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of snail mail. Cards for every occasion, letters for no reason at all, postcards from every city. It’s all tangible evidence of a love that can’t be physically felt or shared in person.
What also helps us through the separation is resting in the knowledge that we’re never as far apart as it seems. We all see the same sun rise and set each day. We breathe in the same air. We’re all equally loved and valued. We all have the same ability to impact the world around us, and no matter what, we have the power to encourage each other along the way.
If I’m being honest, I think it’s the long-distance friendships that are the sweetest and most fulfilling. It’s a true testament to the power and strength a relationship can hold. Nothing, not even 5,000 miles, can break the ties that bond us together. Love knows no bounds, and can be contained by no boarders.
There’s no need for “I miss you” when in reality- the only thing missing in these friendships is physical touch. Plus, the longer we go apart, the more valuable and cherished our time together in each other’s presence is. After all, there’s nothing as sweet as that first hug after way too long. In fact, just this past December I went to pick up a friend from the airport after 18 months apart, and we were too overwhelmed to even think about touching or hugging, because being physically separated was more natural for us. Weird, I know, but again: it’s just a testament to the ability of our friendship to survive together or apart.
As we grow older, friends start graduating, moving away, and taking a different path. Here’s my advice to you, if you have that fear of saying “See you later”: you CAN make it work, and if the Lord intends on using this friendship for purposeful good, it WILL work. It won’t always be easy. There will be phone calls at 3 AM that make you want to go running straight into that friend’s arms. You will miss their presence, but you wont have to miss them.
They’ll still be there. They’ll still love you. They’ll still care.
With all the love,