Many months ago. I would say around 8 months ago…. Travis was put onto a new shift at his work. Prior to the switch in hours, he would work from around 1pm-midnight every 5 days and then off two days. The huge difference in his schedule vs. other normal jobs, was not only the hours but also the off days. His job switched off days every 3 weeks…. and then rotated days. He rarely had weekends off…. and having him away at night for me, was very difficult.
You all who have read my blog know that :)
He thankfully got put onto day watch… which means he is at work from like 6am-4pm most days….This was huge for me and helped me A LOT… I felt a lot less secluded from the “norm” of routine as a home schooling mom… I felt the hours he was given helped me to function better and relate more with those around me… since he was gone when all the other peoples husbands were gone. I can’t even begin to tell you how ALONE I felt when he worked nights…
No one EVER wanted to do anything with me or my boys in the evenings… any time ladies planned “nights out” I couldn’t go, because I had no husband there to watch my kids… and Travis very rarely had weekends off or fridays off… so any time there was a church get together for couples in the evenings, I would have to go alone. It was not fun… I found myself very depressed over it.
Travis’ new schedule as amazing as it was for me over all, the one con was that he had to work Sunday Mornings now… He only gets Sunday Mornings off like every 6 mo… so for example this year he had part of sept/oct off on sundays, but wont have Sundays off again until almost summer!
The church we attend here… that you all know has been unreal amazing for our family. Who took us in when we had no place to go…. sadly does not have evening worship any more… I use to be a bit anti-Sunday night service when I was a Pastors wife. I never really appreciated that service until we were out of the ministry and placed into different situation. I now have a new perspective and am a huge supporter of churches that offer Evening worship still :) – while it may seem outdated to many, and pointless… it can and very much helps those families out who don’t have the normal schedule or routine as most. Also those with really young kids… I am sure can relate to not wanting to get up super early on a sunday… and would rather go in the evening. Amen? :)
So when Travis started his Day Watch schedule… we began the search for a church in the area that offered evening worship. We tried A LOT. I think we tried at least 5 churches… Some were just not our style… others were really cool, up to date but seemed to lack in the area of depth in the sermons…. It was a struggle to find a church we felt a connection with and I know that a big part of that was because First Baptist is and forever will be a home to us… so having to look elsewhere to worship, when we love our church so much and Pastor Johnny, for both Travis and I was hard.
I am so thankful though that we kept looking… and God provided a small new church plant for us to discover. The church is called Sojourn. Their Pastor Trent is similar in age to Travis… and his wife Emily was very sweet. We enjoyed the worship and laid back style… and even better was the fact this church did not meet in the morning only at night. So their evening service was full… and they had a great children’s program set up… and snacks for the kids upon arrival. Was very homey and engaging. Our boys LOVE it. They always ask us now “Are we going to the small church?” :) – haha – which isnt an insult. Those who know what First Baptist looks like here, will get that. Any church compared to it, is small. :)
So we have been going there for a few months now. One sunday while there, the Pastor encouraged the ladies to attend a new bible study they would be starting for the women. His wife would be the one leading.
Initially when I saw the invite to this, my first thought was.
I knew our time here in this area was limited. I just felt it… and I just wondered if it was worth it. Why get involved with anything else? Why get to know new people in a close way, when I would have to leave again?
During this same time I really began to struggle in the area of friendship over all.
With all the job hour changes…
The inability to feel or be connected to many of the groups we were previous a part of… I really began to feel that sense of hopelessness in the area of strong friendship…
Satan really fed me a lot of lies during this struggle… at times Id just tell myself over and over, no one really cares about us, otherwise they’d come see us… Why am I always the one to make the plans….
Yet, as I looked at my cell phone I had 8 txt messages from a friend Candra…. or 2 missed calls from my best friends Shannon back in NC.
I dwelled in self pity a lot and I know that my dwelling there and growing in my insecurity and bitterness made me push people away.
I know too that my dread of another move… yet knowing we had to move, also caused me to not try… trying felt to hard. Even though we have not gotten a confirmation on the upcoming move, I felt little by little, that parts of me no longer were here. As if I was mentally preparing myself again, for another change… and a new life. Which can be exciting but if im honest, its hard too. Even though I know God is moving right now in this process….
For me though, with friendship. I often wondered. Would they care if I moved?
Many didn’t when we moved other times.
I would constantly replay over and over in my mind friendships in my past, that I poured so much into, yet after another move, that was it. An email here, a random facebook comment there… and that was about all that became of things. Could have been my doing. Could have been theres. Whatever the case, it wasn’t easy… and I truly mourned friendships that were broken for a long time… and still do at times.
So, when I saw that bible study invite and I didn’t want to go.
In fact I told my friend Shannon about it…. and she encouraged me to go and said “Had you not gone to the home school field trip many years ago, we would have never met.” A field trip group which btw, I never attended again after that one trip. I went to that single field trip and met the most amazing friend and to this day we talk daily. Id consider her a sister we are that close. Id adopt her kids if something ever happened to her. That close.
I would think back on the time I put myself out there as a photographer in NC… and went to a “photographers christmas party” where I knew NO ONE… and ended up meeting so many amazing photographers, some of whom I grew closer with than others… and one in particular that is still very much a part of my life today… that friendship would have never been, had I not stepped out and put forth a little effort….
God I firmly believe uses friendships in a way to refine us… and while some friendships may be short…
Some may be deeper than others.
Some may be hurtful and cause bitterness at times….
I have learned over these last few months that its worth putting forth effort…. and while I am far from perfect in that effort… and I do find that I can only pour so much if it is not poured back…
That I went.
God was able to use that small bible study group to teach me a lot… and while I may not be best friends with these ladies… I am very thankful to have met many of them and gotten to know them. They were each able to touch me in a way and for that I am thankful.
It was a great reminder to me, to always be genuine… to be transparent…. and to be open for God to do a work.
So to the ladies at Sojourn. Thanks for letting me get to know you :)
To the many others I have become friends with over the years…. and for whatever reason we don’t talk. If you happen to read my blog. Know I love you. I have very few friends to this date that I dont still love dearly, even if we haven’t spoken in years.
Thankful for the ladies of City of Refuge… ladies who taught me how to open up more… That group too was used in a way I needed so much. God used a bunch of broken, curse word flying, jacked up Pastors wives (I included lol), to minister to me in a way that I cannot even fully express.
God is amazing… and Good… and there is just so much to be thankful to Him for… I could write page after page about things I feel so blessed to have, all because of a loving Lord who cares for me.