Shortly before my family moved to Texas from Maine in 2013, our church family gathered to pray and send us off with their blessings. One dear friend had a word for me, in particular. The word was… connections. She explained that she felt God was saying that He was going to establish them for me in Texas; it would take time, but that meaningful, deep relationships would develop. I appreciated her encouragement even though I had difficulty envisioning what that would mean. After all, this move felt like it was severing many of the connections that meant most to me.
Twenty months later, I can see her words coming to pass; but in ways that I never could have anticipated.
Moving across the country is hard for anyone, but it is especially difficult when you can’t take your loved ones with you. Because my husband and I are in our fifties and most of our kids are grown, this meant that we were leaving children, and grandchildren, behind us.
Four of our seven children were launched and had families of their own, but two of our sons, ages 18 and 20, were still living at home. Our move to Texas for my husband’s job meant that the boys would have to stay behind; one for college and the other for his job and girlfriend. Our youngest child, 14-year-old, Mallory, had to experience the heartache of leaving a big part of her world behind, as well as adjust to becoming an only child.
No matter how much I tried to prepare myself for the emotional pain involved in being separated from our friends and loved ones in Maine, I was caught off-guard by the intensity of the grief I felt over not being a daily part of their lives anymore.
Although our children understood why we were moving and were glad their Dad had found work, they were also feeling a little shocked. One daughter expressed a bit of what we were all experiencing when she blurted out, “It’s the kids that are supposed to move away, not the parents!”
But move we did, and after the tumult and excitement of unpacking and setting up housekeeping in a new home in Fort Worth was over, I felt kind of lost. A smaller house, fewer people, and no social or ministry commitments, left me at a loss as to what to do with myself.
After homeschooling seven kids over 28 years, I was beginning to see the end of that career. My daughter, now in high-school, does most of her work independently, although I still have to be available to answer questions and grade her papers. I thought about looking for a part-time job, but that didn’t appeal to my husband or me for several reasons, off-again, on-again health issues being one of them. And honestly, at heart I am a homemaker, and neither of us felt that just because I was almost done with homeschooling, that I had to go to work.
So, in the middle of homesickness and feeling out-of-sorts regarding my role, or lack of role, I guess I should say; the still, small voice of my Heavenly Father kept speaking to my heart, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Waiting on God seems counter-intuitive when I’m revved up and in a, “let’s get something done mode,” but it’s not. It requires me to continually remind myself that I am not in control; never was, never will be, and was never supposed to be. When that truth sinks deep down into my soul something amazing happens! I can feel my whole body and spirit relax in the knowledge that He is taking care of me.
Not only did God take care of me, He redid my schedule and filled it to overflowing! I joined a ministry that helps women exploited by sex-trafficking, our family became members of a wonderful church community, a friendship with a daughter-of-the-heart was reestablished, and we hosted two 12-year-old kids from South Korea for nine weeks. We even, and I don’t recommend this, hosted a team of 30 South Korean college kids for three nights!
In addition, Mallory and I traveled, first to Maine, and then to South Korea to visit and help two of my daughters with the births of two more grandsons! We ended up being gone for a total of four months and we have another two month trip coming up later this fall.
Lastly, I have been blessed by the Father’s opening a door of opportunity that I had believed would remained closed forever; that of writing. I had shut that door, firmly, decades ago, convinced by one too many rejection slips that writing was not for me. God has encouraged me to trust Him, in sharing with others through blogging, some of the wonderful ways that He has set me free.
Connections… they’re everywhere, and while seeing old ones deepen, and new ones emerge, is amazing… the most important connection of all, remains the one I have in Him!
Below is a link to my FaceBook Page as well as several links to some of my favorite posts.