Almost exactly three years ago, a family of three Beckwith's moved from the UK to Coshocton, Ohio to begin the apprenticeship programme at MMS Aviation. It seems like such a long time ago now. Within a month of us arriving, another family from Alabama also arrived to start. They too have recently finished and tomorrow they will get into their cars and drive away for the last time, to their new destination.
It makes our move seem a whole lot closer and there is a lot to do before then. But what is so significant about this particular family's move? The 'Missionary Mum' of that family is Kristin. Since we both arrived here, we have become great friends and shared an awful lot over the last three years ... she is even one of Naomi's godmothers. There have been both times of great joy and huge frustration which we have made it through. We were the 'new' girls together and although our backgrounds and missions experience were completely opposite, we clicked straight away and have had lots of giggles ever since.
Here is a photograph of my wonderful friend taken by another good friend, Cayton Heath at one of her recent photo shoots.
I have been so blessed by Kristin's friendship, we have learnt so much from each other and I'm so grateful that God put us in the same place for our MMS experience. I know that God will put someone new in both of our lives, who is equally as special, as we move on from here ... but also know that however far apart we are across the miles, our friendship will still be extra special.
It does make goodbye's hard when someone so special leaves, it's one of the downsides of the missionary lifestyle, which doesn't become any less difficult however many times you do it. On the plus side (there always has to be a plus side!!!), selfishly, with Kristin and her family leaving first, our goodbye's in a couple of months time will be slightly easier with one less extra special friend to say farewell to ... although there are still a few tough goodbye's on the cards for me.
'Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget'
Would I trade these friendships so that I could avoid the painful goodbyes? No way. They make me who I am today ... I'm grateful to have really good friends around the world, many of whom I can pick up with where we left off, with no problems, however long it's been. Good friends have always been and will always be SO important to me. I look forward to seeing who God has got prepared to be part of my life for the next stage and am just extremely grateful that I will always get to take my bestest friend (my hubby) with me wherever I go!