Joey Walter, Laura Murphy, Tacy Spyker, Lisa Kimsey, Kristi Lehman
Remember that O.Henry story? Kinda creepy? I read it in high school, and I wondered then where we would be in 20 years.
For this old group, it's been a lifetime of friendship.
(And also we are quite a few years past 20 since we graduated).
My husband agreed to drive 18 hours, just out of love for me.
With a baby.
Who cried whenever we put him in his car seat.
It was not a peaceful drive.
The year we graduated from our missionary school, seven of us walked down the aisle.
Five of us made it to Georgia for this reunion.
Here we are gazing at the 1858 plantation home where we stayed two nights.
It had 12-foot ceilings, cracked plaster walls, fireplaces in every bedroom (converted to gas heaters in the 1960's), and rooms chock-full of antiques.
I was beside myself with delight.
I know we need a few new furniture stores.
(Just one night on these mattresses would explain why).
But old stuff is the best.
This Adams - Duggan - Trawick House, which has always been in the same family, is owned by my friend Lisa's mother-in-law and her brother.
They keep it in good enough repair to host family gatherings and Christmas tours.
I told my little girl that this sofa would have been the kind owned by Anne of Green Gables.
It's fantastic, but more for looking at than for sitting upon.
Time with old friends.
Time for us to get to know each other's families.
Time to listen, cry, pray, eat, and just sit together.
We brought games, but hardly played them.
The time was too short, too precious.
When we finished high school, I could hardly wait to escape the jungle of Peru.
Of all my friends, my family had the fewest furloughs.
I spent just half of third grade and half of seventh grade in the States.
I was tired of the heat, the boredom, the enmeshed community.
The dolphin-filled lake and the dusty red roads would be as fresh as yesterday, forever.
I couldn't imagine missing them.
Of course I was thankful.
We each knew that we had the best childhood in the world.
But the future seemed like a glorious freedom,
and I couldn't wait to step into it.
We had no choice, we all stepped into our futures.
And now, all these years later, life has probably been more difficult than any of us could have imagined.
I'm not kidding when I say our conversations were sprinkled, sometimes drenched, in tears.
My husband Nate with our baby Malachi, Tacy's husband Brian with their son Judah
We all worship the same Lord.
We can all say, with absolute conviction, that
He has been faithful
to all generations.
He is good.
The view from the "attic."
We are trying to plan the next reunion,
hoping more of the class can make it.
I expect the years between now and then
will hold some surprises.
Thank you for the hospitality.
"You can look at your life as a large cone that becomes narrower the deeper you go. There are many doors in that cone that give you chances to leave the journey. But you have been closing these doors one after the other, making yourself go deeper and deeper into your center. You know that Jesus is waiting for you at the end, just as you know that he is guiding you as you move in that direction. Every time you close another door - be it the door of immediate satisfaction, the door of distracting entertainment, the door of busyness, the door of guilt and worry, or the door of self-rejection - you commit yourself to go deeper into your heart and thus deeper into the heart of God." (Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love)