Being prior military, moving was pretty much synonymous with my husbands job in the Marine Corps. We moved so much in the 8 years he was in that I was pretty much a pro at it. I knew the in’s and outs of a packing company coming, how late they’d be (how they WOULD pack my trash!) and how to get my things on time, even when someone else was transporting it. Moving is stressful, but for me, it became old hat.
The one thing I DID struggle with when we arrived somewhere, was adjusting; making new friends, fitting in. I was the type to get to a new location and have the entire house set up in a day. I’m talking pictures hung, banana bread baked, fridge stocked. Insane. But then I would sit in my new home and stay there. I loved the adventures that came with a new location; getting lost, finding a church, figuring out the best places to shop. Id often spend the first few weeks exploring. I spent hours researching and writing out lists of things to do and places to visit. I made a list of the churches we should visit. We would find a place to call our church home, but i really struggled creating relationships. My husband always encouraged me to get involved and make friends, but my insecurities and our instability stood in my way. Sure, I could make friends. Sure, I could find my new bff, but it would take time. And about the time I created strong relationships with people, we would move. I would be attached to these sweet new friends I made and then I would never see them again. Ugh.
Eventually, I would get lonely. Getting lost and exploring alone would eventually get old. I’d start attending a Bible Study. Id stay late and get to know people. And slowly my walls would come down. I would finally “bloom where I had been planted”. Somehow, I would fail to remember that God had ordered my very steps. That THIS PLACE was part of His plan for me and that there would be blessings in sweet friendships He had ready and waiting for me.
Living away from my family was hard. I didn’t have a mother figure nearby and my heart desperately needed that. My kids didn’t have a grandma nearby to love and spoil them. Eventually, I allowed myself to go beyond the surface and God had people, in each and every place we lived, that filled that void. He gave me good, godly friendships that went beyond the surface, as we bonded over military life and kids and all the wonderful, messy parts of motherhood. He gave me mother figures that encouraged me, loved me and became spiritual mentors. I still call these women, even though we all live in different states now and deeply value their opinions and guidance. They have all been special blessings to me, both when I was with them and beyond. When I put down my walls, He poured down His blessings.
I encourage you, if you are in a new place or you’ve been somewhere for forever and are lonely, don’t wait for someone to seek you out. Pursue relationships, let God lead you to that special friend or neighbor or mentor that He has for you, “for such a time as this”. I promise they are there. You will bond over a potty training child, who poops on your front step (Yes, that really happened), a terrible day, the joys of a homecoming, chasing your dog through the neighborhood. God created us to be relational. That was his plan from the beginning. Adam and Eve. David and Jonathon. Ruth and Naomi. The Lame man and his friends who took him to be healed by Jesus. Don’t let insecurities or your situation keep you from blooming right where God intended you to be, in this very moment. So put your big girl panties on. Smile. Make friends. Bloom.