I am blessed to work in an environment where my co-workers are my friends. Especially over the years of ministry together we have built deep relationships and become very close. This is the situation with my dear friend, Christa, who is now leaving our team to move back to her home base in California. When she first was hired at Bethel Church back in 2006, I had been filling in for a month as the receptionist. Once Christa was hired, we shared the role and I was able to go to part-time. This met my needs well because I was a college student finishing my degree as well as actively involved in ministry. This gave me enough hours to contribute to our monthly budget but still have time for school and ministry. It was pretty obvious who was better at the job – it wasn’t me by the way. Christa became the rock star receptionist and really blew me out of the water. Eventually the opportunity came for me to move away from the front desk and start working with Children’s Ministries. This was perfect because CM was my heart’s passion and Christa would have full reign of the front desk – where she continued to thrive and add to the value of the position (because she’s amazing and so much cooler than me).
Because we had always shared the job, we never saw each other. We were just like ships passing. Once I was in a different role, I was actually in the office at the same time as her. This deepened our friendship and relationship to point where we’re at today. Christa has become a forever friend. She is someone that I plan on being close with 30 years from now and beyond. I’ve told her she can’t shake me and so far she doesn’t seem too freaked out by that! Little doesn’t she know what she’s gotten herself into. As I was giving her a good-bye hug today, I reminded her that we now have a lifelong commitment of friendship! It’s a forever thing! I have a close circle of forever friends that no matter where on the planet they land, I will keep in contact with them. Christa is in that circle.
Christa has kept me sane while I’ve worked at Bethel. Let’s be honest, church ministry can get hairy sometimes and she has been a friend that I trust. She has let me vent and rant at her. She has listened to my logic and told me I’m not crazy even when I’ve felt like I’m losing my mind. As I described her today at her going away party, she has been my padded room. She has been a safe place and a safe person to be real with. I will deeply miss that connection. Not only has she listened to me and loved me, she has made me laugh and provided many a brain breaks for me on busy days. It’s nice to have a buddy down the hall to chat with for a few minutes. Her family was a part of our life group a few years ago and I will greatly miss them as well. I was telling her that when I see her boys next I’m sure there going to be tall and all grown up. It will be hard to not be around for those years to watch them grow and here the funny stories. I’m sure I’ll still hear a funny story from time to time though because remember, she can’t shake me! I’ll need updates!
So this blog is an ode to friendship and to Christa. She has been a life saver for me on more than one occasion. Our similarities have made us close. We really do understand where the other is coming from because we think the same way. It can eery at times how in sync we are. We share a love of organization and office supplies – two major bonding topics in my book. Overall, we’ve just lived life together for many years. It won’t be the same without her presence daily in my life. I’ve been honest with those around me and said that today is a dramatic day for me. All the emotions of having her leave are on the surface and I’m not even trying to filter them. Thus, I’ve been a bit of a downer as I’ve acted like it is the end of world. While the world will still keep turning, I do wish it would turn with Christa down the hall and not in California.
Christa, thank you for your friendship! Thank for you listening! Thank for you laughing! Thank you for loving! You are a treasure! California is blessed to be getting you back and Washington is mourning. Life won’t be the same. You have been a joy to work with and I am glad that you are more than a co-worker! I’m praying God’s blessing on your family as you move home and start a new season. Good things are in store for you! You are amazing and replaceable!
I love you!