Tuesday, 7 August 2012
The Best Parts are also the Hard Parts
This life of wondering around this wide world as an Air Force family is full of best parts of our lives. Seeing the world, different cultures, all these people that God created on earth and marvelling at the different languages. This life in the military, it forces us to lean in to Christ and each other. There is no choice in this. Do it or be miserable.
And here we are in the best and worst part of this season. "Where are we going today? Are we going anywhere, Mom?" she begs. But this I know she is stating that which echos in my heart, "I want a friend." Yes, she has friends...many actually, but not that friend. Not here in Marquette, not yet at least. You know the one (or few) that you are thinking of as I type and you read.
These sweet friends, for us, are all over the globe who are chasing hard after Christ (or wanting to know what that is), failing miserably, asking for forgiveness and wanting to be loved. They serve. They laugh. They weep with us and carry us through those times in life that are laid fast and heavy with burdens by praying for us and with us. They help point you to what really matters. They are priceless.
Paul says it this way in Philippians (1:3): "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
What brought Paul joy was those times of remembrance of the brothers and sisters in Christ in Philippi.
We know this well.
It is remembering that little church in Iowa who loves hard and earnestly contends for the faith. Its a family taking us in an teaching us about Christ: who he is, what he did, and what the word doctrine means while feeding our bellies and our soul and laughing hard with us (and sometimes shooting at squirrels.) This friend, she taught me to quilt and to cook and about truth. My husband thanks her the most. :)
It's the man who invested in my Love, who shared the gospel that fell on fresh news. He lead him and taught my Love to lead. This man, he baptised us both. We are thankful. We are humbled.
It's the first friend I had, ever, who I could tell confess anything to and she would never make me feel less or ashamed. This friend, she still challenges me. Oh, how I wish we could get coffee and chat.
It's covering others in prayer and being there for friends in need. It's seeing a broken friend come to Christ. "I'm just going to quit trying, Kari. I'm just going to trust God to change my husband... to change me." This I hope I never forget.
Then there is that silence. That deafening silence that really was for a time defining in that country across the ocean. There. Were. No. Friends. Only each other and Christ again and a strange language and culture. And my faith, well it was faithless for awhile... not even a mustard seed. The winds of change came and my heart hardened in cynicism and judgement even.
But God, he is faithful. He is the giver of this thing we call friendship. And I remember thanking for him for the one that I prayed for and for the other ones he would generously give above and beyond anything we could ask for ever. I asked for one and he gave us a whole group of faithful followers of Christ being molded into his truth.
For the ones we would meet with weekly. Each family growing in grace. Each family place in our "medium" group for such a time as it was. All those lovely, loud and restless children. This was grace upon grace and we so undeserved to have a family like that. Each of you creating the body of Christ. Each of us at different places in our walk. Each of us loving well....most of the time....and forgiving when we did not.
The men here were real. More real than we've ever been around. This was good for my Love. It was good to hear that they too, were not perfect. It was them that offered listening ears when God felt far away and the distance between him and I was literally thousands of miles and more. Thank you.
The man that would run with my Love. Not always agreeing, but always challenging him to think. Is this really what I believe. And his lovely family, game nights, children...there were many, laughing often together. Them always letting us borrow the charcoal starter. This is the definition of a good neighbour. :) Challenges are often opportunities in disguise. These friends we miss dearly.
For the one who would so challenge me, again to look at homeschooling from yet, another angle. She would be there at every turn. And pray. I know she prayed...she still prays. She taught me by living and speaking truth. She does this well. And I marvel at what Christ has done in her life.
That baby, oh how she cried. A lot. And that friend, she called and sometimes she cried and I did too. And her family grew and so did mine. And this friend she is special and lovely and knows more and prays more and always points me to Christ. Her honesty is special.
BBQs with loud children, camping under the stars and praying that it NOT rain, dirty tracks into the Edelweiss pool, wondering loudly about life, tight walking ropes high up, taking in all that beauty together, getting our feelings hurt and remembering really, we love each other, big boys jumping on the trampoline with the little ones getting hurt. These, all of them, make me smile. These ladies, these Security Forces wives I lived life with in that strange and wonderful land overflowing with greenery and trees, they loved me well.
And these parts, they are the best parts....and the hard parts.....
because starting over is never easy......
And it seems that when the winds of change come in the military we always wish we would have known that neighbour better. We would have had that couple over more often from church. We do grieve the relationships that we did not pursue hard enough when it comes time to leave...the things we did not say....the time we did not give.
But we can, we do say along with Paul, "We thank our God in every remembrance of you.....all of you...."
616. the hard and best parts of remembering
617. sweet new friends we are making here
618. church family: seeing others sacrifice on other's behalf: this is friendship
619. Mary-Jane: a wonderful sunday school teacher
620. walks to the library
621. God's unwaivering, convicting, longsuffering, loving grip
622. friends: taking a scary leap of faith together
623. a surprise call from a dear friend! made. my. day.
624. laughing hard: a youtube party with my Love
625. waiting on the Lord, not easy...but thankfully we are learning to do this