Have you ever been to a reunion of any kind?  High school?  College? Some kind of group you belonged to?  We become aware of them usually long before the date.  And preparation begins, especially if we haven’t seen people for a long time…how much weight do we need to lose?  What will we wear (don’t kid yourself, almost every woman asks herself these questions)?  And then the pull begins…the pull to go backwards.  It is stronger than gravity, because it is a pull of memories, good and bad, how we defined ourselves, and more powerful, how others defined us.  35 years may have passed with many life and character changes, but let’s be honest, sometimes we think we WANT to go back.

This autumn, the college sorority I belonged to is having its 100th anniversary at the University of Kansas.  Alpha Chi Omega.  The “house,” as we call it, played a big part in my life.  I learned leadership skills that I still use today, made wonderful friends, and felt, for the first time really, like I belonged to something.  But the most important relationship I ever made also happened in the Alpha Chi house.  My relationship with God.  I still remember lying in a bunk with a broken heart and a family falling apart and calling out to God in the dark.  “If you are real, then make yourself known to me.”  Kind of a selfish prayer when I look back at it.  God answered. He is real.

As this 2014 reunion gets closer, it has caused me to pause and look back.

Married for 29 years as of March 2 to a pastor, a man of deep conviction who served in the military as a chaplain after 9/11.

PAUSE  The experience changed our family’s life forever.  Our youngest daughter went to 10 different schools, lived in 9 states, 12 cities and on another continent.  I guess that means I lived all those places, too. The everyday life is sometimes hard for me to grasp anymore.  I used to envy those who lived in the same city, grew up with the same friends, and seemed to live a never-changing existence.  Now, I thank God for the path He took us on and treasure what He taught us through it.  I met and bonded with people from every walk of life, every part of our country, and from all over the world.  UNPAUSE

Serving in a church as The Director of Communications and Family Ministries, a position that challenges and humbles, as I watch the issues that families deal with today and the warp-speed changes to communications on almost a daily basis.

Three beautiful daughters, one of whom is an Alpha Chi at KU and quite by accident, living in my old room, two who are married to men we love.  I am a grandmother.  By May, we will have 3 grandchildren.

PAUSE  What do I want to pass on to them?   We pass on a heritage to our children and grandchildren, whether we think we do or not.  Are we intentional about that heritage to pass on things unseen of character and soul and are eternal?   UNPAUSE

I have had a couple of health scares in the past. PAUSE

What do we see when we reconnect with people at a reunion? Do we see the person we knew so many years ago?  Let’s face it, by the time a person is in their mid-50s, the body may not be what it used to be.  No amount of exercise, healthy eating, and facials will deny the fact that we are older. We may have lost parents or be dealing with their aging health and mind.  We are planning weddings and seeing our children have babies. A couple of years ago, I had breakfast with a sorority sister that I hadn’t seen in years and realized I knew nothing about her immediate family when we were in college.  Unless we grow up with people, isn’t that often the way it is? What I am getting at is that life happens.  One of my best friends in college, one whom would have meant the most for me to see, took her own life.  She was a precious person.  I wish I had kept in touch better.  I would rather be real and have a couple of in depth conversations about life than 20 conversations about seemingly nothing. UNPAUSE

Because it is in the midst of life where God meets us.  We all have this place that longs for reunion.  Reunion with God.  Whether it be in this life in a relationship with Jesus Christ, or in heaven, where eternal life takes a new turn with no pain or suffering, or reunion when Christ returns forever, we long for reunion.  And not meaning to be philosophical, well, yes, okay I do mean to be, I think that’s why some people go to reunions…there is an expectation of connection, an expectation of familiarity, of something that we knew how it was in the midst of we’re not always sure how it’s going to be.

God never changes.  That was the message a couple of young women shared with me 34 years ago, and that is still the message.  He changes us, life changes us, but HE never changes.

That one reunion with the unchangeable changes us forever.