When my husband and I first got married, he had recently graduated from basic training. And so because of his career, we moved together to Watertown, New York – a town 16.5 hours away from our home in South Carolina.
I grew up in a large, close-knit family. It was the kind of family that ate dinner together almost every Sunday. So you can imagine I was heartbroken to be moving so far away from everything I knew and loved. Even though the unknown felt scary, I knew my husband was with me, and we were on this journey together.
But then came some unexpected news. My husband’s unit received orders for deployment.
A difficult goodbye
When he told me he was being deployed, my heart sank to the pit of my stomach. As a military cop, I knew this could eventually happen. But I didn’t know it would be so soon. I put on a brave face, but inside I was panicking, questioning why I ever left home in the first place.
In the midst of all this, I found out a month before he was scheduled to leave that I was pregnant and I miscarried shortly after.
When my husband asked if I wanted to go back home until his tour was over, the Lord knows I wanted to. But I had just started working and going to school, and I didn’t want him to come home to an empty house.
On the day he left, I came home to a house that felt empty and unfamiliar. I was filled with fearful thoughts. What happens if he never comes back?
That day, every emotion I had suppressed from our move erupted and I sobbed for hours. For the first time in my life, I was alone in every sense of the word. I didn’t know or trust anyone around me. I wanted to run home, but something in my heart told me, “Stay.”
That’s when the Holy Spirit began giving me the strength and courage to do what I could not do on my own.
As terrible as my circumstances appeared, God wanted to do something beyond my understanding. And that’s exactly what He did.
Handpicked by God
As the days passed, I began to accept that I needed to move forward. I knew I needed to get connected to a church and that is where God began to lighten the load.
One Sunday, I decided to visit a church I found online. I sat near the back and noticed an older woman who kept looking back at me throughout the service. Afterward, she stopped me and said, “I bet you were wondering why this crazy old lady kept looking at you.” I smiled at her nervously.
She introduced herself as Nana and invited me to dinner. Nana and her family welcomed me with open arms and they became my home away from home.
In the coming days through church, work and school, I met more women with stories similar to mine. In addition to Nana, there were two other military wives that I became close to.
I really believe God handpicked these women to serve a unique purpose in my life and I’m so grateful I had them to support me through that lonely season.
Isn’t it amazing how God can bring us just the people we need, right when we need them?
You were designed for relationship
All throughout Scripture, we are reminded that God never intended for us to live in isolation.
When God created Adam, He knew that it was not good for man to be alone.
When Jesus walked the earth, He had 12 disciples that walked with Him. Although those disciples were far from perfect people, each one served a specific purpose in helping Jesus fulfill His assignment on the earth.
God designed us to desire relationships.
And there’s no time that this is more true than as we walk through motherhood.
Being a mom can be lonely at times, and it’s easy to get so involved with your children that you become distant from other adult connection. But I have learned that making the effort is always worth it.
Today I’m reminded of a verse in Ecclesiastes 4.
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls down and has no one to help them up.
Moms, we need mommy friendships because motherhood is challenging, regardless of our current circumstances. Having someone who understands and can encourage you through this parenting journey is a blessing.
So I pray today that God will lead you to the right friendships and community. The kind of relationships where you can pray for one another, speak life into each other, hold each other accountable, and be your authentic selves. And remember to keep your eyes open for who God might have YOU be a friend to today.