Eunice and Au both learned this song separately before the age of 10 in their home countries. It forever impressed upon Eunice the need to both welcome new people as friends while taking the time to retain those friends she already had. She continues:
It has always been a challenge to make new friends and keep the old. In many ways, I’ve not done it well. Today, I’d like to reflect on this just a bit and share how Au and I are trying to put this into practice.
I first introduced you to my friend, Lisa, as the one who inspired the name of our blog, Flying Horses. Although I did not mention her by name then, she is one of my dearest childhood friends. We spent afternoons creek-stomping with our dogs. We loved to run, prance, and toss our manes in the wind, like wild horses. We’ve not always stayed in touch well over the years, even though we’ve named her and her husband as godparents to two of our daughters. In 2017, two days before my surgery, we spent a morning together, grooming horses and reconnecting. I count her a faithful friend.
But how do you stay meaningfully in touch with other “old friends”? This past July, I was able to spend a week online with both old friends and new at the Institute for Cultural Communicators during their week-long International Convention. Even though it has been over two years since I’ve seen many of these friends – and some I’ve never actually met in person – we invested time together affirming our common goals and exploring our shared values.
But to do the song justice, I must reach out of myself and embrace new opportunities to make new friends. As one motivated by achieving goals, the idea of making friends while accomplishing something productive seemed very attractive! In January, we thought we’d be part of a ministry to disadvantaged children but before we could get started, Covid changed standard operating procedures in Singapore. So much for that plan.
A few weeks ago, Au and I heard of an opportunity to enroll in the Marriage Course. The course would be offered by our church. Should we participate? Should I ask Au about it? He hasn’t mentioned it to me. Do I dare risk a conversation – feeling like it might be a “loaded question.”
Imagine the thoughts running through my mind, “If I bring it up, then he might think I believe we have big issues to work on. But if I don’t, then maybe I’m saying I don’t think we could get better? Should I just avoid the topic?”
What if I skirted the issue and viewed it differently?
“Dear, what do you think of doing the marriage course as a way to get to meet some other couples? It might be good to interact with more than just our OMF community on a local basis. We haven’t even been able to attend church since March. And it shouldn’t be too many people at once. What do you think?”
So, Au and I just attended our first session, and we have this to report:
- there are 6 other couples (one not yet engaged, one not yet married for a year, and other couples with 10 – 25 years marriage experience)
- we found it beneficial and fun (so, yes we recommend it)
- we are starting to make new friends at Trueway Presbyterian Church
- and, we have an inspiration for a new blog post about making new friends and keeping the old
How do YOU make new friends and keep the old ones?