One Year Ago...

One Year Ago...

May 14th marked one year that our family has had an address here in Suburbia, USA. I say it that way because after the big truck unloaded our furniture, the kids and I turned right around and went back to Small Town, USA to finish the school year. We lived in hotels and with friends and survived bronchitis and band concerts and living out of suitcases.

I think back to what the last year has brought and done for my family, and where our feet are pointed now.

There have been struggles and difficulties, as there always are in a relocation, particularly for teenagers. There have been victories and successes, as there always are when God is in it.

I still feel, to some degree, in that No Man's Land of between-ness.

There have been hard things that have pulled us back, physically, to Small Town to help grieve.

There have been hard things that have pulled us back, emotionally, to Small Town to wish we were there to help grieve and offer hugs.

There have been happy things that have pulled us back, physically, to Small Town to celebrate.

There have been happy things that have pulled us back, emotionally, to Small Town that we celebrate from afar, offering congratulations and enjoying photos.

Here, we are still tip-toeing toward acceptance and belonging. People are so very kind and gracious, but the reality is that true and real relationships take forging.

When my dear and wonderful Mark 2 friend leaned across a grimy table in the Taco Bueno in Small Town almost 10 years ago now, our children leap-frogging tables behind us, tears glistened in her eyes. "I am COMMITTED to your marriage making it!" she exclaimed. She had steel resolve where I did not as my marriage was barely able to be resuscitated.

"We'll get through this," said this woman I barely knew. "This is how friendships are made...."

She repeated the same thing less than a year later.

Another Mark 2 friend had found hard, hard news -- her son, her 6 year old with the bluest eyes any of us had ever seen, had a brain tumor. Get to BigCityHospital. Now.

We met at the airport to pray and see them off. Watching them walk out to the plane, Taco Bueno friend said it again:

"We're going to have to be there for her. But we will. This is how friendships are made..."

You know what I was thinking? "Can't we just meet together and play Monopoly? Have a Diet Coke?"

But the reality is no. She's right. Friendships are forged on the anvil of tears and tragedy, prayers and pain. Which is why she is still a dear friend today.

Here I have met and come to know people that I  know will be forever friends. I know that there are forever friends yet to meet.

But as hard things have unfolded around us -- and they have -- I have not been witness to the history, the back story, or the forging. My heart is sad for the hurt surrounding the hard thing, but I am on the periphery.

And as celebrations have occurred I have enjoyed watching people rejoice together and celebrate, but I am unaware of the struggle that took place to get the butterfly in flight. I am still a little bit on the outside.

God is, of course, at work in our time here. Every day that we are here we begin to be a little more clear about why we were called here -- why God needed this to be our mission field. I know that God did not bring us here to work alone, either.

He continues to reveal to us people who will journey beside us, champion our children, and do mission work with us. I know that there are still things to learn about our purpose, call, and mission.

And I know that there are friendships to be forged.

And through it all, He will be there, for He is faithful.

"You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures." Psalm 16:11


dad said...

"Friendships are forged on the anvil of tears and tragedy . . . . ". Easily one of the most profound statements I've ever heard! Superb writing, dear loved one. I still think the gypsies must have left you at our house!

Holly said...

Thanks for the post. I grieve for my small time life. I believe God truly lead us here for my health, a blessing that puts me on my knees daily. Even though I am so thankful for His Grace, I know His plans go far beyond me why we are actually at this time and place. But for this highly emotional girl that covets routine, comfort and rawness of friendship, I feel often as the lonely girl on the outside, looking in. Thanks for your inspiration. Like you stated, He is there and is always faithful. May I continue to grow where He plants me.

Jennifer said...

No.... It's been a year already!?!? And we still haven't seen each other? Wow. Sad suburbia. I'm a country girl myself but I do love me some Frisco!!! We'll see you soon!!! ;)

Sarah S. said...

I really like where we live, too. I hate the commute for Troy, but I love our little area. YES! We need to see each other! I'm the worst friend of all considering you work full time and have had a baby and I haven't managed to get over to lift a finger to help you out in the last year. But I will be happy to see you when I can.

Sarah S. said...

Don't sell yourself short, friend! First, you have been one of the most welcoming and hospitable people to us here. You have made all of us, even my kids feel so welcome -- that in itself is a gift. Now that you have your "new life" away from the leash of dialysis, I do think you have an opportunity to discover what God has for you. But you also have an amazing story to tell of His provision and healing. I look forward to many more years of being your friend and seeing His story unfold in your life!

Sarah S. said...

Thanks, dad -- sometime you should look at your own writing. I learned words at home, you know. I just have practiced more now. But I still can't spit my gum out the sunroof... :-)

Roxanne Langley said...

The changes a year can bring. . .here's hoping for smooth sailing through this next one in your new home. Love you. Thinking of you.

Jae said...

A mentor once told me "God is powerful in the bittersweet of our lives..." I'm excited for you that His Plan is unfolding, albeit, slower than you or I would like. Forging is where sacred things happen. Tempering and refining us by painful measures is God's insurance policy to keep us close to Him. God is especially fond of you forge. Love and miss you!

Sarah S. said...

"Forging is where sacred things happen." Truth. I think there is so much sacred that we miss in this life -- you KNOW I hated how He made me sit and be still this year. But I saw me some sacred. May I NEVER miss it!

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