I had a wonderful opportunity over last weekend to go to the women’s retreat from our old church in Kansas City. Putting it in perspective, we were part of that church family from 1993 to 1996. When we moved there, Hannah was three. She is now a twenty year old college junior. I had not seen most of these women for thirteen years. And it amazed me how quickly we were able to recognize each other and jump into conversation. And on Sunday morning at breakfast, I met a church staff member who came to the church after we left Kansas City. “You are the Wells? That is why I am here.” Our pastor in Iowa City knew we went there. The networking threads of the Kingdom are often visible, always strong, and make me smile at God’s intricate design.
Driving on the way home that night on the pitch black two-lane roads of Arkansas, my experience over the weekend gave me strength and hope. We are on the verge of moving again and on the verge of departing from our dear amazing friends here in Memphis. And I realized that again it is not just saying goodbye, but see-you-later. I was not much of a Girl Scout when I was young, but I remember a little song from my Brownie troop some fifty years ago, “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” As I drove over the Arkansas bridge and the Memphis skyline appeared, I thanked God for the awesome blessing He bestowed on us by letting us live here for six wonderful years. I didn’t see it coming. Bill, the girls, and I have been blessed by friendships in Memphis, deep, rich, and sweet. These are the kind that just get better and better through the years, despite the distance between us.
Memphis friends, you are solid gold.