I wrote this poem back in 2007 in honor of a friend who had come from Austria. He’d lived in the US for 5 or 6 years with his aunt and uncle and ultimately decided he would go back to his parents in Europe. That was heart breaking. Not just for me, but for all of us in our youth group. He was a kind hearted guy who was like a brother to me growing up in my teen years. This was the very first time someone close to me had left the picture and permanently. I mourned his loss a long time. Not because he died, but because our friendship changed and over time and seas, it died. I know he got married and is a dad now. He’s happy and that makes me happy. Still, I think of all the fun filled times we had together with our youth group fondly. Doing doughnuts in the church parking lot, stints to Miami. Laughing and singing together. Those were the songs of our youthful hearts.
But reading over this poem recently, I’ve realized that this wasn’t just for him. It’s as valid a statement in my life now as ever. And yes, I can say indeed God has been faithful in bringing me the friendships I always need to sustain me in the darkness as well as the light. So here’s to you! A sweet friend, who’s presence alters me forever…
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Life is an incredible journey
That takes us to unimaginable places
And brings amazing people into our lives.
It is like riding a wave
With many ups and downs.
Sometimes we soar
And sometimes we sink
So deep we believe it is the end.
But it is in times like these
That a true friend finds us
And pulls us back up.
Each friend we make on our journey
Is special in their own way.
Many come and go.
Some we know longer than others.
Some we see every day,
While others, we may
never meet face to face;
each leaves us with a lesson.
Something we learned
through what we survived together.
During the course of our lives,
each lesson shapes us.
It makes us into who we are.
Though many friends may only
have a small impact on our lives,
There are a few that deeply change us.
Even though we don’t know where
Life’s journey will take us,
We can hold on to this:
We’ve been changed by these-
Forever altered by their simple presence.
They were meant to be- to be there,
In the midst of our lives and help shape
us into who we were always destined to be.