I hung the bag on the doorknob and called down to my teenage daughter that it was there. She came up from the basement, looked inside and thanked me with her perfect post-braces grin. Inside the bag was nothing special, just new eyeliner and mascara since I knew she wanted them and was running low. Her smile said it all. She was not expecting me to go right out and get them, but I did. I wanted to. I love doing little things for my children simply because I love them. I never knew I was capable of that kind of selfless love until marrying and having children.
The last year has been very strange for me. We picked up and moved our lives to a whole new state and I am not going to lie. It has been hard. Leaving behind everything we loved and starting over was a huge challenge. The kids did great in school. The hubby had work. Then there was me and for me, it was quite lonely. I missed home. I missed going anywhere and seeing someone familiar. I missed my Virginia mountains and knowing which stores had the best whatever it was I was shopping for that day. As I wallowed in my sadness, the question of “what in the world have we done” swirled around my head. Once my calendar held coffee dates and volunteer work at a school where everyone knew my name, but in this new place there was only an empty docket and the only thing familiar were the boxes of our things to unpack. My once cheerful outlook became a sad attempt to keep a smile on my face once I picked the kids up and started my mommy taxi service and dinner. I couldn’t even muster the creativity to reopen my small crafting business. I just didn’t have it in me. Yet.
Over the course of the past year, God has been doing a work in me, even though I did not know it. I fell in love with studying His Word. I started exercising regularly and joined Weight Watchers to be a healthier me. And everywhere I went, I ran into other women who had also recently moved to my transient new town. One day I started a Facebook group for all the people I had met who were new like me. I figured it could simply be a place where we could ask questions without fear of sounding stupid. I’d also hoped that it would be a place where new friendships could be made. Our little club of fewer than 10 met once for coffee and muffins and had those safe “conversations” on FB about the new chicken place, kids’ sports deadlines, etc. that you have on social media. It was nice, but it was still not enough. Months went by and I continued to have this nagging feeling that I should be doing more to welcome other women and to help them feel more connected. Just last week, I posted on the town’s mom page that I had a group for “newbies” and that we welcomed anyone who is new. It exploded! We are up to over 130 members, with new people arriving to our area daily. And if I thought our move was hard and far, it does not compare. We have people from South Africa, England, Hungary, Poland, California, Texas, Long Island and half of the state of Ohio! They are using the group exactly as I had hoped. They are finding common ground, answering questions, arranging play dates, coffee meet-ups and outings together! It is so good to read their posts of relief that they are not alone. I may even soon be hosting a Bible or Christian book study! And do you know what started it all? My tears.
Psalm 56:8 says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Our tears mean enough to our Savior to keep them in a bottle! That means they have value. Throughout scripture, we are reminded of God’s sovereignty over our lives, how He goes before us, sometimes leading us through trials while staying right by our side. I know you are asking the question we all ask, “Why?” And over and over in scripture, we are reminded that they are for His glory and our good. Our tears have purpose.
I never could have dreamed that my season of sadness could turn into an opportunity to invest in others. Through the group, my trial had a purpose, my tears have shown their value and I am gifted with an opportunity to share with a uniquely personal perspective. Who am I that God would love me enough to turn my sadness into gladness? I am simply a daughter of the King. I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father looks for ways to shower his blessings down on his children. He is a good, good Father and I’m gonna need an umbrella. My hair is drenched. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CqybaIesbuA