One of the joys of living in a military community is the amazing friendships you have the opportunity of enjoying. The beautiful, unique, special people who come into your path.
One of the greatest sadness of living in a military community is how those same people – those ones you’ve come to call dear friends – leave your path.
I still remember the first time some of our close military friends were moved to another state. The children were devastated.
“I’m NEVER going to love someone whose dad is in the Army again!” One of the children declared fervently. “It hurts too much to be their friends.” Silently I agreed.
But our hearts are meant to love. And the Lord has placed us in this city, going to an incredible church, full of military families.
And so we say hello and we welcome new people. And we love and, sometimes, too often, we say goodbye.
Today we went to a going away party for a beautiful family that we have grown to adore. Cynthia and I have spent the past two years meeting regularly as part of the mentor program. We have laughed, prayed, encouraged and shared DEEP struggles. Although Cynthia called me her mentor, she blessed me more than I can express. She lifted me up during some of the dark days of my parenting struggles, and she understood a lifelong battle that I’ve faced in a way that few people do.
These children have been part of our Sunday School class. They have served weekly with us in AWANA. They have thrown their energies into memory work, Tim’s drama program, and growing more like Jesus.
And so, when I feel a clenching of my heart, and I know I am saying goodbye to a family that I have grown to love, and a woman who has encouraged me to be a better wife, mother and Jesus follower, I stop and Praise God for the hearts and stories He is weaving into our family’s tapestry.
And I cling to the truth that we are called to stay here and be a secure resting place for those who come along. We keep our hearts open. We love freely and generously. We don’t hold back because loving and saying goodbye hurts. We let roots go deep because we know friendship is more than just living in the same city. We celebrate the pieces of our hearts that will travel to different reaches of the world. And we honor these families who have sacrificed so much to serve our country.
We will miss you, M. Family!!
Project 365 – Day 150