My Very No Good, Messed Up Year So Far

I don’t like to talk about my problems online that much. However, I don’t know about you, but so far 2019 has been a crazy year for me. It has been a year of lots and lots of change. Most importantly, it was a year of LOSS.

Losing things are not good. When people lose their keys, it’s bad. Doesn’t matter what the keys open – the mail box, the gym locker, your car, or your house. It’s pretty bad. Nowadays, losing a phone or tablet is just as catastrophic.

The first thing I lost this year: my tooth. On Jan 6, 2019, I broke my tooth and suffered in pain for a whole before i saw the dentist. It also turns out that the tooth had fractured down the gum line and I will need a dental implant. Here you go, Tooth Fairy.

If that wasn’t bad enough, my car broke down. Twice in two weeks in January. Total cost of repairs: $2000

Fast forward to May 2019, my car was back in the shop for A/C repairs, just in time for the summer heat wave. Cost: $600.00

So I “lost” some money as well. However, that is just part of car ownership in America. Living in Southern California where everyone drives, that’s just average. And if you have an older car, repairs are going to increase in frequency.

But what happens when you lose a friendship? Most people would probably say that losing a friendship is infinitely worse than losing a valuable. Granted, some friendships are bad for you or even toxic, but by and large, losing a good friend is painful. Friendships are what makes life worth living – to share something – food, ideas, laughter, suffering, even common enterprise in the workplace. When my friend Jamie died, her best friend shared that the two women were so close in friendship, that they even had the same wrinkle and on their foreheads in the same place!

You see, my year started off bad when I was accidentally omitted from going to our church’s annual Christmas party in 2018. Then one of our church’s pastor and his wife were called by God to go to northern California. They had been with us for a long time. God is working out his plan of salvation in them. It was a bittersweet goodbye.

Around the same time and continuing to August, at 20 people at my company moved on. Some were let go during a restructuring. Others left for green pastures. Those were also bittersweet goodbyes. I wish them all the best in their new endeavors, but many of these people are those whom I talk to the most at work. Not necessarily those whom I work with the most, but those whom I would genuinely call a friend.

Worse of all was this one friend who live across the country. For almost a year, we would chat every day on Skype. Sure, we got our work done, but it was still fun to chat. I had a chance to visit her last October and we got to be in person and everything was cool. Then just after Christmas, it went to 0. Nothing. No communications. What happened? I am thinking back everything we’ve talked about and can’t figure out what happened.

In their book on relationships, Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott coined the phrase: friends of the road. These are friends who walk with you for a set period of time. You can even become very close, but when you or your friend move on life, that friendship suddenly dissipates faster than ice on a hot day. Why is that? Were they not your true friends? Of course not! By any definition, you were friends.

I have to take a step back and realize one thing: It is not about me. God is at work in their lives. He is moving them along to the next phase in their lives. It is about God working out HIS plan. In fact, the Bible says we are God’s workmanship, and He is doing something differently. It’s like when I watch NASCAR. Same race, 200 different cars. Same laws of aerodynamics, 200 different ways of dealing with it.

Will I ever see them again? I don’t know. I wish I knew. I am sure you all know someone or many people whom you have lost contact with and hope to see again if your paths cross again. I wish I knew what to say to those who lost a good friend, not because of betrayal or death, or even neglect, but because life just took you and him or her in different directions. I wish I could end on a happier note, that everything will work out well, because there are no guarantees in life.

But then, the story is not yet over. Not yet, until we draw our last breath. And besides, there is still the life to come.

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