There are times when staying up way past your bedtime is well worth the sleepiness the next day. Last night was one of those times.
We hadn't seen Duane and Sandy for many years. At least not long enough to have time for deep, story-sharing conversation. Since they had a conference in Nashville, it worked out for them to spend the night at my house and we got to have dinner with the Masseys and Mom, and then we all had the blessing of spending several hours catching up on the things that had happened in our lives over the years. Life-changing things. Hard things. Things that caused tremendous grief.
Oh, we are Facebook friends and have had opportunity to see pictures and to know the surface details of lots of happenings in our lives through the years. But there are some things that need to be shared face-to-face. And afterward, there was deeper connection, renewed commitment to pray for each other, and amazing thankfulness for God's gift of friends in our lives.
Our families go way back in sharing our stories. My dad and Sandy's dad went to seminary together and later worked together as church planters and on staff at the Metro NY Baptist Association. Our mothers are dear friends. We have funny family-legand-type memories. Our families love to laugh together. Our parents still meet annually to give mutual encouragement and to just enjoy being together.
When life has gotten messy, the stories have gotten more complex. And God has given grace and mercy in our times of need. Last night was a gift of tremendous proportion and I am thankful.