I’m recounting my weekend in the wrong order, now I want to write about what I did on Saturday.
This weekend I flew back home to be at the wedding of a dear friend from school. We became friends in year eight when we discovered a mutual love for the Lord of the Rings. Throughout high school our social groups changed but we always remained friends. Even when we hadn't seen each other for two and a half years (because it took me almost that long to work out how to catch up with people when you live so far away) when we caught up these last summer holidays we seemed to pick up where we left off.
But this post isn't an ode to our friendship.
The wedding was at our high school chapel. Oh the nostalgia! It was weird being back at school and seeing the places that I sat, where I made friends, where I learned. Some things had changed about the place, but it was mostly the same. But it wasn't just the view that tugged on my heart memory. The school is Roman Catholic so as we went through the wedding mass I remembered particular phrases that I once heard every week. And though I'm not Catholic and I don't agree with everything in the Catholic liturgy I enjoyed my remembrance of the phrases and the places I could confidently add my amen.
There were some other school friends at the wedding too. I found myself a bit shy to begin with. Some of them I haven't seen in seven years! I don't think I'm a very good conversationalist so I wondered how things would go at the reception. Thankfully the conversations were pretty free-flowing. It was really lovely catching up with some of the people I used to hang out with every day. We didn't exactly catch up on the last seven years, but definitely the last few. Many of us expressed surprise at how much time had passed. We'd finished degrees, some of us have moved interstate, someone has bought a house, someone is in the navy, I've been married for two and a half years!
And yet, I was also surprised at how most of us basically hadn't changed. Yes we're older (and maybe wiser?) but our basic personalities have stayed the same. I started nodding to myself: yes, I remember your sense of humour, and I remember your interest in that. And I'm not sure how much this is a comfort or a concern, because it means that I basically haven't changed. I wondered if my friends thought that?
Because I feel like I have changed. I've learned so much in the last seven years. I like to think that I've become less shy, nervous and reserved. That’s because now I'm more confident in God's love for me and my worth as a person. I hope I've become more compassionate and caring, because I've understood better the compassion that Jesus showed.
But maybe change is a slower process than I think. Maybe learning these things doesn't change my personality but the way that I express it. I pray that in the last seven years I've become more of the person that God wants me to be, but I know that seven years isn't really a long time and there will always be more ways I can be like Jesus. And I pray that next time I meet my friends they will see Jesus a little bit more.