A couple of us, including our kids, got together yesterday around 3:30 at our fave Tex-Mex place for an impromptu send-off for Jill and her family.
I was kinda numb the entire time…denial, maybe?
But we had a good time laughing and cuttin’ up and stayed for two hours. I then spent the next three hours with her and Lori (in the blue shirt on Jill’s lap in the picture) at our Sunday night youth event. When we couldn’t prolong the inevitable any longer, and long after Jill’s husband had come up and said, “stay as long as you like, but we ARE leaving in the morning,” we said our goodbyes.
I can say, without a doubt, that our friendship was a total God thing. He pulled us together, along with Lori, Vee and Jen, at a critical time in each of our lives. I know it was God’s plan. Just as I know that Jill’s leaving is also part of His plan. I don’t understand it, but thankfully, I’m able to recognize it.
When the five of us girls got together for a Last Hurrah Weekend together, we laid out five pieces of paper on the table and kept them there all weekend. One page of each of us. All weekend long, we jotted down words, and sometimes phrases, on those pages. I wanted to give you a tiny sampling of the words on Jill’s page:
Will sacrifice for her family and friends
Uber-sensitive to the feelings and thoughts of those around her
Has a servant heart
A Godly woman
Our time together as a small group, as we know it, has come to an end. It wasn’t just Jill’s leaving. It was God’s timing. We’ve scrutinized it many times, many ways. Did we accomplish His purpose in our group? Did we stop doing what we were supposed to be doing?
None of us are sure, and how could we be? But we are sure of several things: NONE of us has ever had a small group of friends like this one. Nor, will we ever again, I imagine. We have prayed together, cried together, laughed together, experienced pain and loss together, joy and life together. We will always be connected by the One True God who brought us together and although the dynamics of our group time has changed, we are still one together.
Jill…you know how I stink at expressing my feelings but I absolutely love you and adore you and will miss hugging on you every day, but you are ingrained in my DNA now and we will always be bff’s.
Oh, and by the way, don’t think I’ve forgotten your last comment to me as we parted last night. You better believe my voice will be ringing in your ears for the rest of your life!