March 19, 2013

This is where the healing begins...

The final good-byes were said last week as really good, close friends and my homeschooling mom/partner-in-crime left for their new home 2,000 miles away.  Coincidentally (or not), our church is studying Habakkuk this month in which a guy asks God a lot of questions and God gives him answers that he doesn't like because it doesn't fit in with his idea of a good plan, even though he acknowledges that God can only make good plans so this plan that seems to be wrong must be right.

I totally empathize with Habakkuk.  When we first moved to Arizona, I felt cast adrift from a strong base of friends.  I would vacillate between wanting to curl up into a fetal position and ignore the world to manically trying to set up play-date after play-date in hopes of finding my new best friend for myself and my kids.  Looking back, I might have resembled this:

A year after our move, I found a homeschooling family that had moved 2,000 miles away to a house very close to us.  Knowing what I had gone through, I contacted her and we set up a playdate.  The kids got along fine and before you know it, we were planning a two-family homeschool co-op and put together a small P.E. co-op close to us.  One of her sons and one of mine shared a passion for baseball and we took turns with baseball carpools.  One of my daughters and her other son shared a love of making art, so we put them in an advanced art class together with a teacher that she had really liked.  We still use the teacher.  About the same time another homeschooling mom and I were talking about friendships and she talked about the "cult of friendship", in which "friendships" become a status symbol with the hierarchy based on  how many FB friends you have, how many birthday parties you get invited to, etc.  Through that conversation, God pointed out that I was buying into the cult of friendship myth and addressed some issues from my own public school experiences, in which I felt like a deer with a target-shaped birthmark over my heart.

So I became content with the friends He had divinely appointed to me, including the one close friendship that was blooming between that family and ours.  I figure that we spent, roughly two months a year with them when you add extra playdates, weekly co-op get-togethers, birthdays and even a camping trip.  

So why would God encourage me to focus my time on developing a close relationship with a family that He was intending to move so far away in such a short time?  Did I misunderstand Him?  Had this family become an idol in my life and God had to remove them to demonstrate it to me?  Is this a little more perverse form of His occasionally gently-twisted humor?  The last two weeks, especially have been  a struggle and, honestly, I started checking out again, wanting to curl back up in a fetal position and insulate myself from the world.  Today, in quiet time, God replied to me, "My dear child, you and Tina have chosen the most excellent way--the way of love, focusing on people rather than accomplishments and activities.  It hurts right now, but I will carry you through the pain of loss.  Just let go of striving and fall back into my arms."

And so, I find yet another reason to have joy in this hard moment:  that God has been pleased and is faithful to be the God of all comfort, the God who provides, and the God who is in control.

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:17-18


Eileen said...

Great lesson. "Focus on people...not accomplishments" I need that reminder often too.

Jane Hoppe said...

Kris, I'm sorry to hear about your new loneliness. It sounds hard. But you turned to the Lord, and what a sweet thing He said to you. I hope your comfort in His words and companionship grow. Bless you!