At the end of summer camp each year we used to sing a song, "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." Since moving to Pennsylvania, God has blessed us with so many wonderful friends through our church, David's coworkers and our neighbors. Yet, there is always something so precious about spending time with those who've known us for years.
This weekend we were finally able to make it over to Philly to visit our friends Dave and Christine. The role they've played in our lives is a story worth telling. Dave M. and my David met when they were matched up as random room mates during their first year of gradschool at FSU. Dave M. and Christine were dating, but Christine still lived in Pennsylvania. After a year of doing the long-distance thing, she moved down to Florida so they could determine if God was moving them towards marriage.
I met Christine and Dave when they started attending the same church as me for their protestant service (Dave is Catholic, so they went to Mass also). Apparently, after the first time I met Dave and Christine, Dave went back to the apartment and informed David, his room mate who was 27 and had never had a girlfriend, that he needed to come to church to meet the woman he (David) was going to marry. David responded by rolling his eyes.
After a month of hearing Dave insist that this girl had a neon sign above her head that read "David's girl" on it, David finally caved in and came to church with them. He was in a bad mood since he already had a church home of his own across town and thought meeting a girl was a terrible reason to switch churches for a morning. I had no idea any of this was going on, but after being introduced to Dave's room mate, trying to start a conversation and receiving mono-syllabic answers...well, let's just say it wasn't love at first sight.
Dave convinced David that he needed to get to know me through the Weds night Bible study where he could actually have a conversation with me that went beyond, "What's your major?". Since David's church didn't have a Weds night service, he agreed.
David and I share a love of reading and discussing the Bible and it didn't take many Wednesday nights for us to become friends. We also shared similar tastes in movies and books and jokingly said we should combine our libraries. I admired David's singleness, as, at the time, I was pretty certain I was going to devote the next 5-10 years to teaching before settling down as wife and mother, if indeed that was something God had planned for me at all.
Dave M., however, had other plans. As the four of us became better friends he was there to, not so subtly, make sure David and I got to spend lots and lots of time together. Dave made sure that no matter how awkward or inconvenient it might be that wherever we went, David was the one sitting next to me, opening my car door and driving me home. Never mind that Christine and I were leaving at the exact same time and my apartment was on her way home, Dave was quick to volunteer that "David could drop you off." David was ready to murder him sometimes, I would just turn red and nod...yet somehow neither of us could be heard to complain...
When David finally worked up the courage to ask me to date him, Dave's advice was "Just kiss her!" Advice that was, thankfully, ignored. I'm grinning as I reflect on all these things. Although David was ready to kill Dave for his pushyness at times, I think we both needed a bit of a shove in the right direction!
Since those days, life has been busy for all of us. Dave and Christine married in 2008, David and I followed the next year. 2010 brought Caleb, and 2011 brought their son Elias. Both couples have moved at least twice and now here we are, all back in Pennsylvania together.
It would have been impossible for me to imagine, playing cranium and talking theology until 2 in the morning at the guys apartment in Florida, that in 5 years we'd all be hanging out again, this time in Pennsylvania. We're still talking theology...but not past 10:30 because we all have to be ready to greet our energetic toddlers in the morning. Now, I can't imagine it any other way.
We feel so blessed for this friendship that has survived distance, moves, and life changes. We're thankful for friends who remind us of those days when we were first falling in love, who challenge us, who are willing to be transparent about how difficult marriage and parenting can be, and who know what it's like to survive colic and a baby who doesn't sleep.
Of course, it's not all theology and serious discussions. The guys went climbing Saturday morning, despite the fact that this was the view outside the window.
Christine is expecting a very special delivery in 6 months, so she and I stayed home and played with the kiddos
Once the guys got back home there was even more fun. Dave and Elias chasing Caleb.
Daddy is base!