Saturday, April 10, 2010


Changes are not easy. Sometimes changes are really hard. I have lived long enough to know this, since I have experienced many, many changes. While I was growing up, I saw changes occur over and over again, so I knew from early-on that things rarely, if ever, stay the same.

My childhood years saw my family move many times, to many places. Sometimes it made things difficult, because I was repeatedly “the new kid” at school…on top of being the teacher’s kid. Most places I was lucky to have even one friend, which would then make moving on to the next location somewhat difficult. My most painful move was when we moved away from Amarillo, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama…because I left behind my absolute-best friend ever.

I was extremely shy while growing up, too…which increased the difficulty in making new friends. I’ve pretty much always felt “invisible,” as well.  Other things that seemed to always set me apart from schoolmates were: I wasn’t into “keeping up with the latest fashion” in clothes. I wasn’t always trying to “impress the boys.” I wasn’t “into” movie/TV stars, the latest TV shows, rock/popular music, and so forth. Too be honest, I enjoyed school, enjoyed learning, and reading, etc. Jesus was an important part of my every day life.

Then I went away to boarding school, for grades 10-12. A couple of the girls wouldn’t let me just sit in my room during Saturday night recreation time! They literally dragged me out to the playing field! Soon I had many, many friends. Those years truly became the best years of my life. When graduation came, it was one of the most bittersweet days of my life. It was hard to say good bye to my friends. It was hard to leave that little school that had become like a peaceful haven.

My children haven’t grown up, moving from place to place, like I did. My teens have really experienced only two major moves in their lives (at least, only two that they remember).

In Montana, they really didn’t have any friends. It seemed like the kids their ages at church, pretty much shunned them….like most of the kids had shunned me while I was growing up. It made my heart ache to see them being treated much the same way I had been treated while I was a child. When we left, my daughter left behind only one friend, and she wasn’t even from the church we attended.

In Florida, the Lord led us to a wonderful little church which was made up largely by young people. It seemed at least half the church was under 21! At last my oldest had friends!! He grew; he came out of his “shell;” he flourished!!!

My daughter had several friends, seemed to get along with all of them, even if her friends had squabbles with each other. I have seen what a large, forgiving heart she has. When one says or does something to hurt another of her friends, she weeps in pain for the hurt friend. Sometimes one of her friends might say or do something that hurts her, and she may come and cry on my shoulder briefly…but she forgives, and doesn’t seem to let bitterness take over her heart.

When we first moved to Mississippi, all my kids wanted to do was move back to Florida….even though in Florida, we only had a tiny RV we’d been living in! They missed their friends!! They wanted to go back! And they thought our precious little church would always remain the same!

But they have learned over the past year: Nothing remains the same! Tim’s friends are all graduating from high school, moving on to college…eventually they will begin marrying and having families of their own. The families of two of Jen’s best friends have had a “falling out”…so now when we visit Florida, she has to juggle her time between her two friends. Recently she has learned that two of her friends and their families are moving away. From now on when we go back to Florida to visit Grandma and Grandpa, she won’t be able to anticipate seeing those friends at that time…

Here in Mississippi we still haven’t found friends. We are still trying to find “where we fit in” or even if we fit in. I know the kids are lonely; they miss their friends back in Florida. I miss my folks, and my friends, too. But I do praise God every day for the wonderful man He has blessed me with to be my husband! And he is a wonderful step dad to the children. It is truly a blessing to be in a house rather than that tiny RV, too!

Through all of this, I try to teach my children that, even though we have to say good bye often on this earth, and we may be lonely and miss our dear friends, there is coming a day very, very soon when we will be reunited with our friends and never have to say good bye again. After all, this world is not our home; we are just passing through! My daily prayer is: Come soon, oh, Lord Jesus!! We want to come HOME!!! Pin It Now!

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