Three years ago my husband and I retired to Georgia. It was a move we wanted; however, we had to sell our house in Maryland in order to make that move happen. Prior to our move, we had come down on two or three occasions to look for a house. The process actually involved two contracts on two separate homes. The first contract was immediately rejected because the sellers wanted an immediate sale. The second contract was in existence for a year, until someone else bought the house. We were disappointed but continued waiting on God for the sale of our home in Maryland. Thirteen months passed and we finally sold our home. What a relief!
Our prayers were finally answered and we were on our way. What joy! We found the perfect ranch style home with a lot of custom features and a basement. I thought, “We’re finally in our home. Now we can look forward to living the life we’ve always wanted. You see, Willie and I had been married over thirty years but our lives had been on different schedules. I had worked from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., while he had worked from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Moving to Georgia was a blessing, but there were struggles which accompanied the blessing.
First we had to get used to seeing each other 24/7. While I always wanted us to be on the same schedule, I didn’t realize that would present some challenges. I forgot that God created us to be unique individuals with totally different personalities, warts and blemishes included. Some days he discovered or shall I say “re-discovered” my warts, and other days I helped unveil his. Nothing major was ever at the root of our “discussions.” It seemed that every topic involved something as simple as how to pack the dishwasher correctly or how to not put papers in the decorative bowl on the kitchen table. You can probably guess whose pet peeve belonged to whom. I remember one day when I was so “ticked off” about something that I had to leave the house for a couple of hours to cool down after one argument.
Secondly, I entered a period of indescribable loneliness. You see, not only did I leave my family and my church, but I knew absolutely nobody! For some of you, you might be thinking, “Poor you.” If you’re a military family, you’ve probably left family and friends more times than you can imagine. I’m not disregarding your sacrifices. But for me, this was the first time I’d ever moved out of state. For six months I was miserable. I remember one day when Willie was sitting at the kitchen table opening mail (family joke). I walked over, plopped myself in his lap, and wept on his shoulder.
“What’s wrong, honey?” he asked.
“Willie, I’m so lonely. I love our new home. It’s just what we wanted, but I feel so depressed. I don’t know anybody and I miss the kids.”
After a few trips back home to help remedy my ailments, I decided it was time to take responsibility for my happiness. After joining a really good church, I decided to join a small group women’s Bible study. Following that decision, I went on a women’s retreat and stayed in a room with three women from the group. I also volunteered to host an apartment-warming for a member of our group. In addition, I attended other social events with ladies from the group and called or e-mailed them from time to time. That group was key to my successfully transitioning to my new state. Three years later I still have a special bond with those women.
What state are you in? Do you feel lonely? Isolated? Depressed? What is God saying to you? You may have a wonderful relationship with Him, but He may be calling you to connect with other women. Or perhaps you think you’re doing okay by yourself. The poet John Donne said, “No man is an island unto himself.” God is calling His women to be bridge builders! Who is He showing you? Perhaps it’s a neighbor, someone who doesn’t look like you or talk like you. What’s your excuse? Your feeling of isolation may be His push to get you to move outside yourself. Look around. Your mission field might just be your next door neighbor. Don’t be afraid. A kind word goes a long way. While He calls some to go across the seas, He calls others to look next door.
Press pass your insecurities. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) reads, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”