More than three years ago, we packed up a bright yellow Penske truck with all of our belongings and left all that was familiar. God had called us, and we answered.
Feeling a little bit Abrahamic– we left our town, our friends who were more like family, and everything we thought we knew and moved to a town in Georgia.
A town that for years was nothing more to us than a Starbucks half way between our parents and our home in North Carolina.
Because so many told us to visit a particular church, we did so within 48 hours of arrival in our new “home.” And found an instant solace there among other believers.
There was difficulty in those first few months. We struggled to settle in and lost a baby to miscarriage. We clung to each other and to Christ and felt Him pulling us to look deeper for a close community within our church.
Then we found them. That group of other families in our stage of life who wanted to know God better. And to know us. We were on our way to finding home.
The first few weeks were less than easy for me. Each Tuesday night, the drive home from our Ladies’ Bible Study group involved me crying to myself, crying to a friend left behind in North Carolina, crying out to God… “This is so exhausting… We don’t really know them… they don’t know me…. they don’t know our story… they don’t know who we are.” Worn down and wrung out from the constant re-telling– I questioned if I would EVER feel like they were family. I questioned if we would ever feel the joy of being known and known well.
But God poured His grace out on us. He cracked open our hearts with hope. Thank goodness they kept asking. We kept sharing our story… and asking questions to learn theirs.
And now? More than three years later? They are those we share life with. We share burdens and heartaches. We share lessons as we learn them. We share gifts. We share answers to long- prayed prayers. We love on each other’s babies. The babies we prayed would be born healthy and strong despite concerns. We share meals. We share Coffee and community and so much more.
And when I waved from the porch and then closed the door behind the last one of them that last night they were over I went to my sink– and I saw a pile of dirty forks. Forks enjoyed with a hearty dose of laughter and chocolate cake. Each one representing a former stranger who was now a close sister.
And I thanked God for my story. And the strength HE gave in the telling of it. And the Grace He gave to listen to theirs. And most of all, for the JOY of knowing and being known in the love and community of Christ.
Linking up with Five Minute Friday over here!