I’ve been thinking a lot about roots lately. We don’t see them much, but roots are what allow trees to steadily plant into the ground and give them stability to grow healthy and strong. Rainfall, sunshine, and soil conditions all play their part on trees and plants, but those roots underneath really help determine the quality of life for the plant. Friendship roots are similar, you might not see them on the surface level, but day after day of doing life together, and friends grow deeply into each other’s lives, enriching and impacting positively.
I’ve had the privilege of knowing two lovely American mom friends, Joy for four years and Angela for six years. God brought us all to London for different reasons, yet He graciously allowed me to appreciate my American cultural roots and do the mom/mum life in England with these likeminded friends. Right before the school year came to a close, I hosted a Prayer Send Off evening for these lovely ladies, as it was time to say farewell.
Joy knew her time in the UK was limited, since her husband, Rob, is in the US Navy with a new tour to begin soon in the Lone Star State, however it made it all the harder to leave with having built up a strong network through school, church, Bible study and other military families. Joy’s family thrived in their adopted English life and so wonderfully also brought with them the warmth and hospitality of American culture with how they did life here. Coffee mornings with Joy while our kids played, provided nourishment to our souls and a deepened connection of friendship in motherhood.
Angela’s departure to a time of sabbatical in Michigan seemed more sudden as her family was situated here in Northwood indefinitely. However, work challenges for her and her husband and lots of prayer over their future, resulted in it being the time to close this chapter of their lives in London. Both Angela and her husband Jeremy nurtured such a sense of community amongst church, school, the LST campus and beyond that no doubt, their legacy will live on. I was blessed by being in a prayer triplet with Angela and our friend Christine, which was such a special season of being real with each other and praying into God’s will for our lives.
It would have been hard enough to lose one of them but both of these ladies in the same summer seemed a bit cruel to me! My first reaction was, “Really God?” Despite not wanting them to go, part of the reason why I did the prayer send off was because it’s important to say goodbye well. Goodbyes are always hard, but in Jesus, we can say with confidence, “Until next time.” We had a lovely, small group of us together, chatting, laughing, and celebrating friendship. After that, we circled Joy and Angela and prayed over their next life steps. The tissue box was passed around and tears were certainly present. Sad tears as well as happy tears and appreciative tears to have known such wonderful gems of ladies. They will be incredibly missed as well as their husbands and children by many, but now they have other places to be, other lives to touch and more of God’s life to share. The same goes for those of us that are left behind in Greater London. Our life mission continues as we open up our hearts and minds to sharing God’s love and doing real life with the people we encounter.
So here’s to you my friends, Angela and Joy. Your roots have run deep with me and so many others. Although you have been uprooted and are in the process now of being replanted, rest in the knowledge that you will find new growth yet again. You’ve left your love, friendship, and sisterhood with us in England and the Holy Spirit will continue connecting us despite distance and time. Love you always.