All He takes away

There’s nothing for a couple like good couple friends. Friends who feel to drop by for dinner, call you up spontaneously, cry with you, work alongside you, text you when they’re in need of prayer. Eat your ravaged mustard mash that didn’t turn out quite right with nary a word of complaint.

Especially when they’re not only your couple friends, but your bandmates. Who have also been in your Bible study for 3 years. Oh, and are on the worship team at church with you. And when the female component of this couple is your best girlfriend.

In case you haven’t caught on yet, I’m talking about my friends Eric and Carrie.

Carrie was the one who kicked my butt into the world of blogging over two years ago. Carrie was the first person to call me after our break-in in January. She took me for my first pedicure. Carrie’s thrift shopping stamina is enough to satisfy even this hard-core thrift shopper. And Eric and Carrie forced us to go to a Regency Ball . . . twice!

Carrie invited me to sing back-up vocals for one of her gigs one fall long ago, which put the wheels in motion for the formation of our band, Thornfield.

Eric and Carrie were the first people I played one of my original songs for (with the exception of my husband, of course!), and the catalysts for my songs actually ending up not only being performed in front of actual people, but recorded on our CD. They have encouraged, challenged, pushed, comforted, and advised me.

I can’t say what Eric and Carrie have been to me in the past 3 years.

Now they are moving to North Carolina (a process started long ago), where Eric will be getting his Masters in Composition at UNCG. We had a goodbye brunch for them at our place a few weeks ago, and another goodbye brunch with our church family this past weekend. Yesterday evening we helped them pack up the truck.

And that’s it. Now–as in, this morning–they are going to get into their vehicles with all their stuff (as well as our furry and cruel band manager) and actually drive away. In fact, at this time of the morning they are probably already outside the city limits of Chicago, heading South and zooming off into this new phase of their lives.

And the only reason I’m not burying my head in the sand in despair is because I know God has a plan . . . that his plan is GOOD . . . and that he will meet all of our needs.

We will try to keep both our friendship and Thornfield going from a distance, share our lives and songwriting, engage in road trips for the occasional gig, and hopefully record another album down the road. But the reality is–it’s not going to be the same. I know I have a lot of tears ahead of me, and there’s nothing to be done except cry them, and walk through the pain of my loss.

I take so much comfort in the words of the hymn “Be still my soul” that say:

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side,
Bear patiently the cross of grief and pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide,
In every change He, faithful, will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend,
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

And especially close to my heart is this verse:

Be still my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know his love, his heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From his own fullness all he takes away.

I love you guys, Carrie and Eric.

Drive safely, sweet friends, and I pray that after a few years, somehow, we will end up in the same city so that we can share our lives again in this way that has been so, so precious to me.

11 thoughts on “All He takes away

  1. kelsey

    jenna this is beautiful! such a sweet friendship, thanks for sharing your whole heart with us. 🙂

  2. Kimby

    Oh, Jenna… the sweet strains of “Be Still My Soul” are still echoing in my heart. What a perfect hymn for this post, for your entrusting friendship to God’s care, and for the grace you’ll receive during “missing you” moments.

  3. Vesselina

    Jenna, this has brought tears to my eyes. I am praying for all four of you that there is a new source of joy where there may be a huge sense of loss right now. I love you and am thinking of you.

  4. giselle

    This was a lovely post.

    I know what it’s like to live far from friends and it’s heart-breaking when you move or they move. It takes a LOT of effort and work to keep friendships from a distance, but if you’re willing to do it, it’s amazingly worthwhile! I have friends in various states and it’s hard, but I try to see them at least every other year – every year when possible. These are people that no matter how much time passes between our phone calls, we are always close and we will always be close. I love them and I am so lucky to be a part of their lives. I know it will be the same for you and Carrie.

    But for now, it’s ok to cry.

    I always think about the quote from Shaun Prowdzik and the older I get, the more and more true it becomes:

    “I always knew I would look back at the times I’d cried and laugh, but I never knew that I’d look back at the times I’d laughed and cry.”

  5. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef

    can totally relate… one of my closest college friends was visiting the past couple days and she left today… and is moving to south korea next month. so sad! but we know that in Christ there is a better plan for us than we can have for ourselves, and no goodbye is goodbye forever. hang in there!

  6. Veronica

    I’m really terrible at comforting people and right now I’m heartbroken for you so could you just suck it up and comfort me instead? lol, see, I told you I’m terrible. Seriously, I’m just so sad to know they are really gone b/c it is so obvious how much you love them but I love that you have some comfort and peace knowing God has a plan. I too pray that you will be reunited, not just for a short time, but for the rest of your lives. <3 May God be with you through your grief–I lift you up to him for comfort.

  7. Joanne

    I always find it SO hard to say goodbye to good friends…they are just so hard to replace. Not that you would really REPLACE them, but you know what I mean. It’s just so hard not having them in your day-to-day. I just know you guys will stay close though!

  8. Julie M.

    Awww, I know how hard that is. 🙁 Hopefully you’ll get a chance to get out there and visit and some point. I have several good friends that live in different areas and we still make the effort to get together at least once a year and just reconnect. I’ll be thinking of you all during the adjustment.

  9. Carrie

    BOOHOOHOOOOOO!!! Ah, you had to bring that song into it, didn’t you?!?! Unfortunately, I misplaced the box of tissues somewhere along the move so I’ve resorting to crying ferociously into toilet paper. Eric just brought me a brand new roll, so I should be able to get through the day…

    Oh my dear friend, I love you and I’m praying for our voices to reunite soon, but I trust our spirits will continue to commune across a thousand miles. Jesus is so good, and will be a strong uniting thread between our hearts. (If I sound too romantic, you can be blamed for introducing me to Anne of Green Gables!) I’ll try to pick up my piece of the blogging world again and I’ll count on yours to keep me informed with plenty of pictures of you guys, Chicago, and little Alice. (And I’ll try to keep up better — I don’t remember seeing the post about Ellie before!! haha!) Please visit soon — there is a futon just waiting for you, Adam and Alice!!!


    1. Jenna Post author

      March! That’s what I keep telling myself. Roadtrip during Eric’s spring break with our baby girl . . .

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