Thursday, July 27, 2017

80's music and saying goodbye

I love 80's music.

I hate saying goodbye.

If I had to describe 80's music in three words or less, one of those words would have to be "dramatic." From synthesizers to rock opera, from androgynous lead singers to big hair and bangs, 80's music was nothing if not dramatic. I guess that's one reason I like it so much.

There's also something surprisingly profound about it. I mean, have you ever really listened to the words of Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time or U2's With or Without You? Then we have the Christian pop of the 80's. I'm talking Michael W. Smith, Sandi Patty, Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant. Those were the cassettes my mom played while she drove us around in Big Red, our GMC van. That stuff is in my soul. It's some of the best stuff ever made.

But, 1989 eventually became 1990, and that glorious 80's era ended. The synthesizers gave way to saxophones and the bangs to frosted tips and boy bands. Things changed. Life moved on. A new decade commenced.

In two short days, I will reluctantly say goodbye to one of my best friends when she moves away. I'm not happy about it one bit. It makes me want to roll around on the ground wailing like a 2-year-old, as dramatic as any 80's power ballad.

But being faced with her imminent departure is also surprisingly profound, like the immortal Cyndi Lauper. Because my friend's leaving makes me think about how much I appreciate her and how thankful I am for the years we've been doing life side by side, heart to heart, trial after trial. I don't know where I'd be right now if not for her love and encouragement the past 10 years. I don't know what I'm going to do without her.

I don't actually wish she'd stay, though. She's leaving with her family to pursue a calling from the Lord, and I can't and won't begrudge that. We both have to do whatever God asks us to do, whatever that might be. And our friendship isn't over. Sure, it's going to change, but in the also surprisingly profound words of Michael W. Smith in his 1987 hit "Friends": Friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the Lord of them. And a friend will not say 'never,' because the welcome will not end. Though it's hard to let you go, in the Father's hands we know that a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.

So, yeah. No matter how great the 80's were, the 90's could not be stopped from coming. It's the same with the past decade of my life. I'm going to miss it, for sure. A lot. It was a wonderful time with a wonderful friend who is and will always be, like all that 80's music, some of the best stuff ever made.

But, also like the magnificent 80's, I'm just glad it happened.

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