It’s been slightly over four months since my big move to spend time with my grandchildren and their parents. It is a season to help while my son-in-law is deployed. It has been a larger move than I had originally thought. Larger in a number of ways. I’m saying, the change is big. Large. One big part of the change is; it’s been hard to make any friends. There. I said it. Since I’m not married, new friendships can’t be forged with other couples easily. “Is your husband coming?” someone asks me at church, as I sit down. (That’s a sobering question for a survivor of domestic abuse, but that’s not a story anyone wants to hear.) “No.” I say with brevity. Find a new church. More new encounters, more emotional work.
I haven’t got young kids to help bridge new friendships, either. My grandkids help me to have quick conversations with neighbors as they play in the cul-de-sac. It doesn’t fill the big, empty friendship hole. Loneliness, like a steely, gray cat, creeps into my little mother-in-law apartment. It can be hard some days.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my family, and I really, really enjoy and love my grandchildren. That’s not what is hard. Everyone who has moved and has had to start again understands what I am trying to share. Laughing with an old friend who knows your whole story doesn’t happen when you move and start over again.
My daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids have to do this every two years! It’s hard to even think about. Please hug a military family when you see them, and thank them heartily for what they do.
I like what my friend, Tina, has written as she has processed a move to Chile. It’s a comfort.
“If we are afraid of change, if the fear of losing what we have right now is too overpowering we will never have the courage to believe that the other side – the side we can’t see, the side that requires trust that what God has for us is good and unbelievably bigger, than we will always miss out on the richer things of life. For life is found in losing ourselves, in letting our small dreams die, in saying good-bye to the safe – in order to find our true selves, in order for the real dreams to come into fruition, and in order for good to be made possible.” Tina Bustamante (Click on Tina’s name to see her blog.)
I’m trusting again tonight that what God has for me here in Colorado is important and good. And He just might provide some friends as I dream bigger.
The Comforter, Marcia Carole, Graphite on Paper