My last article I explained I was now at medical school and already a bunch of assumptions had changed in my thinking and this is another one.
Eighteen months years ago in my April 2014 article I noted how I had been watching "The Conversation" with Amanda de Cadenat, an alternate interview series in which the host, Miss de Cadenat, 'interviews' celebrities through a simple conversation, usually on their own couches in their own homes.
In this particular episode, Eva Longoria was discussing life after her divorce caused by infidelity on the part of her husband.
She said something I found striking, intriguing, and mostly just overwhelmingly true.
"I miss you is not I love you," she stated, "They are actually separate emotions." She went on to say, "I miss you is also not, 'I need you in my life right now, either'."
Simple, but profound.
In discussing this with my fellow medial students as I did back then with a friend, I realised that this concept is quite intuitive to us in certain areas of life. For example, most of us miss elements of our school days (If you're still in school, enjoy it while you can. It's actually the best) but we don't envision that we need to return to them to move happily into our futures.
We understand that life is a journey, we miss the good of the past, we hail the lessons that it taught us, and we continue onward. O certainly applies to me now at medical school and in so many new experiences.
But, as I said back then, I do so again today, this applies except in relationships.
Maybe I'm alone in this, but not a week goes by without a fond memory of someone in my past slipping into my mind, causing me to mentally sigh and think, "oh, I miss them".
For a long time, these thoughts caused me to wonder if my missing these individuals meant something more. Did I still love them? Should I call them? Did I make a mistake in letting them out of my life?
Until I realised: 'I miss you' is not 'I love you'. In fact, 'I miss you' is nothing more than 'I miss you'; and with that comes the freedom not to do anything about it.
Certainly this applies to me now back in the USA, where I have necessarily needed to move on. Oh, so many wonderful friendships were established in Australia (study, church, college ...) and now, I'm in medical school back in my home country.
It happens! I get a sense Paul says something along these lines in almost all of his letters, remembering so many 'new' brothers and sisters in the faith, but by the very nature of being an itinerant preacher, these friends are recalled with much joy in the Lord, while he himself moved on to the next preaching assignment.
Tina Hakimi is an Arizona-raised, Sydney-based writer working to complete her doctorate in Vision Science at the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about the Word of God, scientific research, and how the two serve to strengthen and affirm one another.
Tina Hakimi's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tina-hakimi.html