May 29, 2010

Starting Over

I didn't sign up for this. I'm not a Navy wife. A fact I have repeatedly reminded God of these last few weeks.

First Catherine. Not surprising. She is a Navy wife. She is from Florida. She never really fell in love with Washington. Not enough sun. So when she told me her husband had receieved new orders and they'd be moving across the country soon, I didn't bat an eye. I would miss her and her adorable little girl; but I never thought they'd be sticking around permanently. And I had other friends, after all.

But then Helen . . . Helen announced rather unexpectedly that she and her husband had decided to move back home to Alaska. In less than a month. Helen is not a Navy wife. Their family moved here voluntarily last summer, just like us. But . . . it appeared God was leading them back home. After only a year. I was stunned.

Helen, who's husband worked at the very same place as mine. Helen, with her little boy who became Caleb's first friend here in WA. Helen, who "gets" my humor. Helen, who for the last five months has been my patient and consistent prayer partner. Helen, with whom I have laughed, talked, confided, trusted, cried, hiked, and baked. Helen, with her sweet and funny girls who always brought a smile to my face.

Helen was leaving?

I didn't cry nearly this much when we left California. Maybe because I was the one doing the leaving. Washington was our exciting destination, and like the pioneers of old, I always figured we'd settle into a new house, a new life, complete with new friends. I never imagined that a year later, most of my new friends would be gone and I'd be starting all over again.

I didn't sign up for this. I'm NOT a Navy wife.


I shook my head violently, bitterly. Alone in my livingroom, on my knees. Confused. Upset.

"No, God. I won't ask You. I don't want to risk getting hurt again. I don't want to risk another friend leaving. I'd rather be lonely."

He wanted me to ask Him for new friends. But I wasn't ready to. I didn't want to. No, no, no. New friends meant new risks.

My denial sounded absurd and I knew it. You can't argue with the Sovereign of all creation and expect to win. That doesn't always stop me from trying, though. Sometimes I just want to be petulant. And this was definitely one of those times. I was mad, and He was gonna hear about it.

"Why, God? Why? Why is it all my close friends live in other states? Why are You moving Helen away?"

He was going to provide. He had a plan. But that plan required me to trust. Blindly.

"No, no, no! I like the way things are. Why do You have to rock the boat?"

He had new ladies for me to meet. New frienships to develop, to pray for, to invest in. That's what He wanted from me: an open heart, ready to befriend, ready to bless, ready to love.

"And what guarentee do I have, Lord, that these new friends will stick around?"


"That's asking an awful lot . . ."

But what alternatives did I have? Never make new friends? Live like a hermit here on the island? I thrive on conversation and fellowship; I crave them. My life would be empty without them. So really, what choice did I have except to trust and obey?

As I said, arguing with the Lord of Eternity is pointless; I get there eventually.

Deep breath.

"Help me start over, Lord. Bring new friends. Help me watch for them, and help me not to be afraid of opening up and getting close, no matter what happens."


I was able to spend a lot of time with Helen before she left. Much as I miss her, her friendship this last year has been a huge blessing. I'm thankful I got the chance to know her, regardless of how short a time she lived on Whidbey Is. We will keep in touch and who knows? Maybe one summer we'll vacation in the great land of Alaska.

And I have continued to pray. Through clenched teeth at times. Through tears. But you know what? He is already starting to answer those prayers.


ladyfelicity said...

This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I know it's hard - most of my close friends live 3,000 miles away and I've had so many of my close friends "here" move away (or been moved away from them) that I'm always aware that it might happen again at any moment. It's soooooo hard, but I know God is in control and wants me to invest in people without being crippled by the fear that they may up and leave - secure in HIS eternal, faithful friendship. And He has a wonderful way of bringing friends from "nowhere"! :)

Nicole said...

Thanks for the encouragement, friend! God is good and faithful to provide; sometimes even from nowhere, as you say!

You know what? Blogging has also helped me make new friends! I've met some wonderful, sweet ladies (like yourself ;) whom I never would have known otherwise. And while my bloggie friends may not live in the same town, they are friends nonetheless and those relationships and fellowships are a blessing to me! :)

ladyfelicity said...

Aww ... ! :) Blogging is a blessing I appreciate - especially when God uses it to bring new (and lovely) friends into my life! And that list would include yourself, dear! Speaking of which, I'm going to get OFF the computer and write you a REAL letter! :)