Chasing Contentment

Sunday, December 3

On the Receiving End of Love
This move has been so hard. I know that doesn't come as a bit of new news for anyone who reads this blog regularly. But, in all honesty, I've been taken by surprise more than once at how really painful this has been for me.

I had expected some separation anxiety and some heartache, but I hadn't expected it on this level or to last this long.

I've got this nurturing thing going on, and I have for as long as I can remember. I can remember my friend, Mika Dawn, who was my roommate in college, telling me one time after we were living apart that I had mothered her through our years in school in some ways. And it's probably true. I kinda tend to mother everyone around me whether they want it or not. I respond to things and events and people in a very nurturing manner.

I send cards and notes and call with words of encouragement. I know that those small gestures are so very meaningful to me, and so I make specific efforts to extend those gestures to other people.

Since we've been here, I've done some of that, but not as much as before. I'm still nurturing. It's just that at this moment in time, I'm expending most of my nurturing... well, on me.

And I've been very blessed to have good friends who've kept up with me and who have supported me in this transition. But I have to admit that God has sent a variety of unexpected people to reach out to me in this time of need (and I am by far more needy than I have been at any time in recent memory).

I've always said I wished that I had older Christian women who could serve as mentors to me, and it has been a few older women who have reached out and said the sweetest things to me, the most encouraging things. Interestingly enough, none of these women are close to me.

A woman I worked with at my previous place of employment told me that she and her family moved when her kids were exactly my kids' ages. And she told me that it would take me longer to adjust than anyone else because I was going to work really hard to make sure everyone else was doing okay. And that has turned out to be true. And I have deeply appreciated her taking the moment to tell me that because I cling to the possibility that I see through looking at her happy life now.

An old friend sent me an email telling about how his mother had to move when he was in high school and about how she said she didn't really feel at home in her new location for a good 10 months or so (which seemed like an eternity when we first moved here and seems like a drop in the bucket of time now that we've been here six months).

My sister-in-law's parents have been precious to invite us into their lives here in Florida, and on one occasion, her father was sitting beside me at a dinner, and he told me that when he and Stacy's mother were in La., she didn't hang pictures on the wall for two solid years, assuming they'd be going back 'home.'

Stacy's mom recently told me the same story, and she also added that when they moved back here to Florida, she hated leaving La. because she had put down such deep roots. Her comment to me was that men put down shallow roots and women put down deep roots. That fits me and Mike.

In all of these stories, I find comfort in shared suffering. I find hope in the strong lives these women now lead. I feel the tender love of God in all of these stories... I know He is giving me His healing touch, reaching out to remind me that He is loving me, caring for me, even in my sadness.

[  posted by Chel on Sunday, December 03, 2006  ]


Thank you for hosting the Carnival of Beauty this week. I have really enjoyed reading all the different posts.

I hope and pray that you settle in soon and that you find that older Christian woman to be a mentor to you.

This might sound daft but it's a serious suggestion! Have you considered helping at the Seniors Fellowship? In my old church, they would invite students to come and share lunch at their meetings. It was a wonderful way to get to know some of the older people in the congregations and to learn from them.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 PM  

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