There have been a lot of stirrings lately...but the most intense has been the impending departure of the Petersens to Oregon. Their decision to move has happened over about a month, or maybe less; Jenn and the kids have been planning to visit family there for the summer all year, but actually moving is a newer idea. You may remember my other blog in which I introduced them, and that doesn't feel so long ago. In fact, this last Christmas we celebrated our second "anniversary" of discovering them.
The move feels like the right thing, and we can clearly see the Lord's leading as they go. However, the loss of our best friends here is painful. Today at church they were blessed and prophesied over during the second service. Most people didn't know they were leaving, so there was a collective intake of breath as Keith announced it. We also had a party in the Jr High department, with a slide show set to---I'll bet you already can guess this---but you might be surprised it's still kicking---drum roll please---"Friends Are Friends Forever." Sigh. But wait. It was Stryper's version. Yes, Darren told me it was, but I thought he was joking, because Stryper covering MWS seemed so....I don't know....like Darren's cynical humor. However, before I blogged in my ignorance I googled it and found the MWS cover album by Stryper. Wow.
So, I was doing all my usual Sunday duties with the Shreve nose in full bloom. Jennifer at least looked good when she wasn't crying. I carried the vestiges all day. It was so poignant to realize that this was the last day they'd be in church. That I won't be seeing them as part of the landscape is kind of shocking. In a way, I feel like we are moving too. Life without them will be like striking out afresh.
We've had 2 1/2 years of unprecedented friendship as couples. I've never known two people with whom Will and I are both able to connect like this. All the relational combos work between the four of us. Outside of Nathan and David, I've not experienced a guy like Darren. He feels like the brother I didn't have-Our childhoods had so many similarities it's crazy. And Jennifer feels like the best combo of my Aunt Luanne and my mom in the 70's. Things like wiping the kids' noses with their clothes, and heartlessly perscribing carrots when they're hungry. I've lived it. Of course there's more, but you get the point.
I'm excited for Darren and Jenn to move into the next place of blessing that the Lord has for them. And I know that He has blessings of us to as this place in our hearts and our schedule is opened up for new people and things. I know there is good ahead for both of our families. But this week is the hard part.