Blogging has been a needed outlet for me in many ways. During the years we’ve lived here, it has been an especially lonely and dry time for me, and blogging has been such a blessing in that I have connected with many other women around the blogosphere who also like to write about the Lord and His grace and mercy. It has also helped me to think through more carefully and biblically what I believe and why because I sense a responsibility to be true to the Word when I write things out here, and for this I am grateful. It is often useful to me to chronicle this stage of my life, but I am finding that there are times when I may have something happening in my life that is fairly consuming emotionally, mentally, and/or physically and if I decide not to blog about it, it seems like it is hard to blog about anything else, either. But there are times when it is probably best to keep details about certain situations to myself, and that’s where I struggle. I tend to want to tell everything I am thinking about those big things, and that is not always the best for the blog, even if they are over all good things.
That is how this post started out. I have tried several drafts and every time I say more than I probably should. In fact, this final version is probably still suffering from some of the same.
Back last February, I bared my heart a little about how much I have struggled with not liking living where I live. Now, a year later, I am writing a post to share a little about how refreshing it is to finally feel that I am entering an oasis in this wilderness we have called home for a little over four years now. I shared a few weeks ago how we were struggling with the decision to go to a new church. Well, we did join that church on December 16, and I told my husband a few weeks ago that I feel as if we have come in from the desert and found the oasis we had needed. It is as if we are drinking from a deep well that has been here all along if only we had known where to find it.
Finally I am beginning to feel like this wilderness doesn’t have to be so dry. It is so nice to be in a place each week where the Bible is opened and taught well from the pulpit and in the adult and children’s Sunday school classes and to finally be making connections and friendships with people who also have the hunger and desire to be in the Word, and we are, all of us, drinking it in like thirsty wanderers who have panted for such richness.
It was not without tears and struggle that we made this move and it was not without heartache that we could no longer continue where we had been for four years, but we came to believe that it is what our family needed, and each week we are there this is confirmed in our hearts. Even though we keep hearing that people are saying we “should have stayed and made it happen” when our in-laws explain to people who ask that the main reason we left was because our children were not getting the kind of teaching and peer support we knew they needed – many times they would be the only ones in their classes, and my oldest son had no kids his age on a regular basis most of the time we were there. Such comments are made by people who don’t seem to understand that we tried very hard to do just that for four years, and the reasons we finally decided we could no longer do so are some of the things I think I probably will not blog about. We so much wanted what they, and we, were hearing and doing at church to support better what we are trying to do and teach at home rather than much of their class time being little more than babysitting. We believe that now they are getting the kind of encouragement that will help them grow in the Lord every time we meet at church – it is never treated as babysitting, but precious opportunities to teach them. You know, they are even excited about sitting through the hour long sermon and taking notes! That is incredible to me. First of all, they are listening closely enough to ask questions, and I have yet to find the need to undo something they come home telling me was said by a teacher, and they are excited to take notes – granted, the note taking thing is because they get a reward on Wednesday if they bring their completed sermon note sheet to children’s choir, but, it works!
And, though we are still concerned about the SBC and the direction it is going, and we still are paying attention and will pray, it has not bothered me nearly as much as I thought it might that we are no longer in a SBC church. I am very saddened that we could not continue to serve in a SBC church in this area, but this is where we have found ourselves.
OH, and here’s something exciting, too. We have a Community Bible Study right here in our town!! If only I had realized exactly what it was that was meeting over there all these years! I have needed something like that for four years and because of my hermit-like tendencies which make it so easy to just turtle into my home and so difficult to step out of my comfort zone and actively seek out these opportunities in the community, I missed that it was there all the time, right under my nose. I had heard about a study that met at a certain church downtown, but for some reason I had been given the impression that it was mostly for military wives and it was super huge (it really isn’t compared to some places we’ve lived) and there was usually a waiting list for moms with little children (this is actually true if you don't sign up early enough due to space constraints) and some other wrong information, so I never got up the energy to find out what it really was. Even though they are in the middle of the study of Matthew, and even though the childcare is usually too full to allow newcomers in the middle, when I contacted the coordinator she told me they did have a slot for Boo and that I would be able to start right away if I didn’t want to wait until September when the next class will start. I started Thursday and am so excited about it.
After four years, I finally have begun to feel that this is home. Or as my husband just said, after four years of winter, spring has finally come.