These last few months have brought a whirlwind of transitions to my life. They have all been positive things, but they haven't all been easy to walk through. These transitions look like leaving a college dorm, graduating and moving to a new state across country from everyone I know. It also looks like the transition of dating/engagement to being married. I am transitioning from full-time student to full-time work to support myself and my husband as he focuses on seminary. Like I said - good things, but stretching and sometimes painful.
The hardest thing I have been walking through these past few months has been loneliness. LONELY!? How is it fair for me, a newly married woman, blessed with a loving and godly husband, to say that I have been lonely? My husband is supportive and loving and sympathetic in all things, but it has been hard to deal with the loss of many girlfriends around me. I am thankful that it is not a straight up loss of the girlfriends. I still have the support of daily texts and skyping and the knowledge they are praying for me and with me. However, the distance has been hard.
When I made the transitions to different schools in highschool there were people right there in classes and activities to become fast friends with. When I made the new transition to college, there was the soccer team that became my family and best friends, making the transition easier. Friendships were being made all around and sticking fast. This transition has been different. This time I don't have sports or clubs or classes to make friends in. How do I go out and make new friends?
There have been many tears shed through this journey. I am thankful for my time in Panama where I felt a little bit of this loneliness as well. Being in a new country and staying with a family I hardly knew at all, it felt distant from all things sure and steady. Now I walk a similar journey, thankful every day that I walk it with my husband by my side. During that hard time in Panama I was able to cling tight to my Jesus as He filled that need. My relationship with Him was strengthened and I was thankful for the pain as my faith grew.
Here, in Texas, I have a similar perspective. I feel heavy and sad at times and it's hard to be positive through it, but I also am joyful in the thought that this time of heart-heaviness is going to produce a closeness with my Savior that is worth it all. True, I don't smile through the promised joy and growth, I frown and pout and complain selfishly. But I know that God is the one who will carry me through despite my own weakness.
I was talking with my mother-in-law today. She walked a similar journey not so long ago. She understood my need in marriage for girlfriends to pray, laugh, talk and grow with. But she was the one to remind me that though there is a need, God fulfills all my needs. I was struck with the thought: what if I was far off, by myself, without promise of friendship or support for years, would God be enough? What if I didn't have a loving husband by my side, and a new job around the corner... would God be enough? God has answered the pain I've been facing with peace. It is something I know He will continue to fill my life with as He uses this time to remove my close friends and family in terms of distance, and fills that hole with Himself.
This is not the end of the journey. I am still walking through it. However, at a seminary wives group I went to the other day I was handed this thought. Sometimes we expect to walk with God and pump out the growth at a high-rate pace. When considering the vine and the branches, those branches did not produce fruit at some supernaturally fast tempo, it is a natural process. If we (the branches) are walking in closeness with our Savior (the vine) we will naturally be producing the fruit. God works through and in us with His timing. Yes I want to scream, GIVE ME FRIENDS, FILL MY NEEDS, BRING ME COMFORT... NOW! But I can cling to the promise that God will sustain me, HE will fill my needs, bring friendships, bring comfort. I know that I will look back at this time and see how God chose to walk me through this time and draw me closer to Himself. And I can be thankful by God's grace.
This is not the end of the journey, but with the right perspective it is exciting to think where and how God is going to meet these needs. God has been is and will be faithful.