This week one of my oldest and dearest friends came to visit me from Massachusetts. (If you read my article from last week – yes, she’s a Red Sox fan!) My husband and I took several days off so we could visit Hallstatt, Salzburg, and Obersalzberg in Germany with her and her husband of 40 years. The drive across Austria was magnificent! We also attended a concert of Mozart and Strauss music at the Kursalon, and we enjoyed numerous delicious meals in the many different restaurants. We are privileged to live in such a beautiful country.

On Thursday, we were able to meet up with another good friend who served as the guidance counselor at the school where we worked in Pennsylvania. She and her husband are also celebrating their fortieth wedding anniversary. So different parts of my life that had never crossed paths before met here in Vienna. What a small world!

Just like me, many of you are not native to Vienna. You come from countries all around the world and spend maybe three years here before moving on to your next position. You have family and friends that you have left behind, and sometimes it is really hard to be away from them. Your children have to adjust to a new place and a new school, and sometimes it’s not seen as an exciting new adventure, but a time of grieving what is lost. Those of us that work at ICSV understand this, as many of us have experienced the same feelings ourselves.

It has been wonderful spending time with my friends this week. We talked about my parents, who have both passed away, and about things that only we would know about from when we were kids. We teased each other and laughed a lot. They fly out tomorrow, so things will return to normal. It’s been great, but unfortunately, it will surely leave us with a sort of empty feeling – one of longing to be near the ones we love who live half way around the world. Times like this remind us of what we are missing, I guess. But it also reminds us of the importance of relationships. The friends we met with this week are Christians, so we share a common bond and the blessed hope that even if we never see each other again on this earth, we will be reunited in Heaven. We have a relationship with God, our Heavenly Father, so that no matter where we are on this earth, He is with us. As this is the most important relationship that anyone could ever have, it prompts me to ask – do you have a personal relationship with God, the Creator of the Universe? He desires for us to be in fellowship with Him, and He is that forever friend that never leaves us.

So as I spent the week marveling at God’s amazing creation and His gift of music, I will also cherish the moments that I had to spend with my special friends who love God and who all have a personal relationship with Him. This could not have been a better week!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.