Time may change things, but some things truly never change. Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to reconvene with old friends who knew me back in the days when I wore pigtails. These are the people who love us because they know the essence of who we have always been. They see us. They suspend judgement. They know things about us in that quiet, unassuming way. Despite the miles and years that may have separated many of us, we share memories that run deeper than Middle Earth.

Time may wear us down, shape us and leave traces on our faces, but core friendships sustain us as we are tested by the challenges life throws our way. Old friends are the ones who remind us why we are here. And they are so very glad we are.

Perhaps I am feeling so nostalgic because I have come to realize the preciousness of these times. Even though we have many ways to stay in touch in our 24/7 world, the most impactful connections are those we have when we finally get together after years of separation. We pick up right where we left off with a comforting familiarity. That smile, that laughter, that story of Way Back When. It touches the soul and warms the heart as we remember we are never alone, though there may have been times when we have felt the sting of loneliness as we climb yet another mountain of faith.

More than anything on this Earth, I treasure the people in my life. They are what make my life so rich. And the warmth of their love has put me back together more than once to make me whole again.

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