The Friends We Left Behind

So, the Return to Delft series continues, as I promised! This blog is dedicated to all the beautiful friends we left behind when we moved to the States.

We did life with these people. I was 20 when Anton and I were married. The majority of my young adult life was lived abroad, building friendships and a church with other young people, married and single. In fact, most of the friends seen here were single when we met them…or dating. We were part of their beginnings and their weddings. And, most of them had kids after we left! I felt like a proud aunt meeting all the children of our best friends. The crazy, awesome thing was that their kids took to us instantly. They loved us. They loved our kids. It touched my heart to realize they seemed to sense they were safe with us. They were family.

After ten years, it was so great to see everyone again! But, it hurt too. We had adjusted to missing them but now, now we realized all over again just how much we missed the friendships, the fellowship and the knowing of one another. We’ve seen one another’s mountain peaks and we’ve crawled through the deepest valleys. We’ve celebrated and we’ve cried. We lived the ordinary accented by the extraordinary.

These are our friends of the past. These are our friends still.

We are thankful.

Friends in Kijkduin. Mercy Anne makes new friends. Mercy Anne and Victoria hold two girls. My dear friend Karin. Sisters playing.


My best friend, Solange, organized a wonderful party at her home to welcome us back.
All our friends contributed to the meal and Solange was the perfect hostess.

Beautiful flowers and cupcakes during friends reunion. Judah makes a new friend.

Close friends in Delft.


Seeing my husband reunited with his best friends choked me up inside.

Anton with some of his best friends.


Beautiful Solange with two admirers.

My best friend has two admirers.

Mercy Anne continues to make new friends.

My beautiful friend from Delft. Walking with friends though the old neighborhood. Little girl on bike.


Picking up Erik’s oldest from school for lunch…the very elementary school Victoria and Judah attended when we lived in Delft.
Oh, the memories.

Visiting my kids

Enjoying a Delft terrace with good friends.

Friends prepare amazing lunch. Dutch food is the best food. A plate of delicious food. Our friends have a lovely home! My friend enjoying a moment with her daughter. My dear friend and I. Our friends have a beautiful family. Loved seeing Gerhard Nel during our trip.

Various friend from Delft

Worshipping with friends in church. Friends are precious. Two great friends after church. A bakfiets is the way to travel in Holland when you have lots of kids. Farewell cookout with our dear friends. Love this woman! Mercy Anne with her new best friend.


A big shout out to the O’Regans! When I first came to The Netherlands at the age of 18, I stayed in their home.
Their oldest, Sean, was but a baby (far left).
They introduced Anton to me and are partially to blame (in a good way) for the fact we are married.
They are an extension of the Janssen family and their visit from their home country of Ireland to Holland, at the same time we
were there, was such a blessing!

Friends from Ireland. Reunited with our Irish friends. Our kids now have friends from Ireland.

All images ©Blink of an Eye Photography/Marie Janssen. Do not use without permission.
  • Sheri F. Cox - how lovely! it is a wondrous thing how God can keep our hearts knit together even though we are far apart. Thank goodness for the promise of heaven, when we will be able to visit without time limits!ReplyCancel

  • Solange Stamper - Such a beautiful tribute to all of us friends, Marie.
    I’m so thankful for the time we had together, it was delightful and way to short :). We thank God for you guys and His love that bind us together!! Love you, always. ♥♥ReplyCancel

  • Theodoor Rutgers - WoW what a cool photo’s they are really good! Thank you for that and special it was to see you all again. Friends foreverReplyCancel

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