Thursday, August 22, 2013
For eighteen years, I have prayed with each move God would send us where there was an established, strong, thriving PWOC. God has consistently said, "No." I have started or been part of revitalizing PWOC's at each assignment. God has answered with a big, resounding, "YES" at our last assignment. These ladies are wonderful. I connected with several of them before arriving in CA via Facebook.
When I arrived the President loaned me a duster and a vacuum as well as dropping off some yummy World Market chocolate and PWOC treats in a cute bucket (which sits on my desk and holds pens and scissors).
Monday night was LIFT (Ladies in Fellowship Together). This is held monthly and I am going to LIKE it. I was greeted like a rock star and chatted with many ladies. It was fun to put real faces with FB profile pics.
PWOC Bible Study started Wednesday. The kids do not want to go. I told the younger two they needed to try the homeschool room. They ended up loving it. They are doing STEM enrichment....very structured and wonderful program which one lady has taken on as her ministry to homeschooling moms...and she isn't a homeschooler! I'm blessed.
These women know how to welcome a newbie into their midst. Nothing I am about to say reflects on THEM. It's me.
The staff spouses at Beale are wonderful. I can tell I'm going to love Barbara and Valerie and am excited our young chaplain is marrying in October. We've already shared dinners and I feel we are getting to know each others' heart. Nothing I am about to say reflects on THEM. It's me.
At our first assignment a woman told me with tears, "I came here, knowing it was for two years, determined not to make another friend before we retired. It's just too hard to say goodbye to friends all the time. Then I met you...." I sympathized but didn't understand. I've heard the same sentiment expressed differently over the past 18 years. I've always been excited to move and excited at the "friendship dating" phase (which I now see many dread). Monday I was stunned to realize I was dreading LIFT. I didn't feel like I had the emotional reserves to start all over...to make new friends...deep friends and leave in 2 years. I wanted to just sit it all out until we retired and then begin to emotionally invest again in a place I may have the joy of staying longer than 2 - 3 years.
God has been talking to me since Monday. He wants all of me...even the parts that don't want to emotionally engage....because it's about following Him even in relationships. It is o.k. to be sad. It is o.k to cherish my "old friends" but I also need to be willing to move forward. It is not o.k. to cling to the past and neglect the present.
I've been sad at the loss of the mentor group I led last year. I so loved those young ladies...and I doubt folks will know me enough to want to be in a mentor group by January. ::snort::
I've been wondering if it is selfish of me not to move out again into various leadership opportunities....
This afternoon, God gave me the gift of being able to connect via skype with MY mentor. This wise woman who walked where I'm walking, successfully transitioned with her husband from the chaplaincy to civilian ministry, has walked seasons of life I'm just entering, has walked in leadership roles I have held....today we talked....and her words were a balm.
I've only been here a couple of weeks. We've been traveling a lot for a couple of months. I'm tired. It's not time to end a season of rest until God makes it clear it's time. It's not selfish to rest when He has placed you in a season of preparation for the next mission. It's O.K. to grieve the loss of dear friends while reaching forward to meet new ladies. God will open up future mentoring doors when it is time.
And....so....I'm praying, with tears, to find the emotional reserves to make dear buddies knowing in two years my heart will break all over again at saying goodbye to them....but that's the glorious sorrow...to have loved well.
I can relate in a deeper way to those who share these feelings with me in the future. I understand.
Living all of life before the face of God...
Joyfully Penned by DeEtta @ Courageous Joy at 5:23 PM