It was a cool January evening when I checked all the doors to make sure they were locked and then turned out the lights on 17 happy years.
Warm tears rolled down my cheeks as my car rolled out the driveway—away from the home and the neighborhood where my children grew up, away from dear friends, away from the church I loved, and away from family and a lifetime of memories. Away to the unknown and the uncomfortable.
A new job. A new city. A freshly empty nest.
It was a hard season.
And as if to pour salt into an already weepy wound our new city didn’t exactly welcome us with open arms. People here were more reserved, cautious. Back home our lives were melded together in a community of close friends, who laughed with us, cried with us, prayed with us.
In this new corner of the world things were different. We tried to reach out in our usual way. I baked pumpkin bread and delivered it to the doors of my new neighbors. Excited to introduce myself, I was met with stealthy chills hidden behind glad-to-meet-you smiles.
I didn’t feel welcomed.
My husband’s business associate “J” told him about a Bible study that met once a week. When David asked if he could join, “J” hesitated and then told him he wasn’t sure, he’d have to ask the other guys.
David felt scrutinized.
We attempted to join a life group at the neighborhood church and were told the group just closed.
We felt left out. Did we have coodies or something?
We normally had no problem making friends.
When the Israelites were delivered from their bondage in Egypt they would wander in the desert forty years before reaching their destination. God’s purpose in this wandering was to teach His people obedience, thankfulness for His provision and total dependence on Him. I believe God moved us to this new place for a time to teach us some of the same things.
It was here we were stretched in ways we hadn’t dreamed of being stretched. It’s not like we were unfamiliar with struggle, the difference now was in this place without our usual comfortable, without our support team of friends and family to lean on, we learned to lean into and depend on the One who could truly render comfort.
We lived in a three-story condo with a big picture window on the main floor looking out over the bay. It became habit for me to get up before the sun, fix my coffee, and watch as God’s glorious creation came to life. It was here I found solace. Looking out over creation I learned to empty my heart to the Creator, talking honestly, openly to Him. I learned to trust His will before all others and He became my best friend, the sum total of all I was missing.
We did eventually find our spot in the community and make forever friends but not before learning to depend on God instead ourselves and others to meet our needs.
Even when you’re overlooked by others, you are handpicked by God. In her new book, Uninvited, New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst will help you live like you really believe that truth! You can get your copy by going to www.uninvitedbook.com.
This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited Book Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers.