Toward the end of first grade, I learned my friend Debbie was moving away. I came home from school and cried.
My mom explained that throughout life, people would come and go. Friends would move away, new ones would come. And she was right.
Although I never saw Debbie again, I still have friends from first grade. Several of us went through all twelve years of school together.
I made new friends. One of them was Rhodema. She and I met at church a few years back.
She was a writer. I wanted to be a writer.
She wrote for our women’s magazine. I dreamed of writing.
She was editor for the women’s ministry blog. I was afraid to share anything I had written.
But one Sunday, while serving together as greeters, I got up the nerve to mention that I had written a couple of items.
She asked me to send her something. I did.
A few days later, I received an email saying that she loved the piece, that it needed very little editing, and she was posting it on the church blog. My writing career had begun.
We became friends. We attended writer’s conferences and workshops, including She Speaks. We took a trip to the Kiamichi Mountains with other friends for our own writing retreat. We started our own writers group and led women’s Bible studies together.
She called to let me know when her first article was accepted in a national magazine. She rejoiced with me over my first publication.
Without her encouragement and support, I probably wouldn’t be writing today.
But my friend is moving away. She came to our critique group Monday—one of her last nights to attend. At the close of the meeting, she said, “I have something for you.”
Outside, she handed me a gift bag with instructions not to open it until I got home. “You need to keep it by your writing desk. I have a matching one,” she said. “And it will be at my desk.”
I came home, opened my gift, and cried.
But this isn’t the end. Our friendship will last, over time, over distance, through thick and thin. God bless you, Rhodema, and thank you, my friend.
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24b)