**I started this post several weeks ago, and now I am finally posting it . . . **
In the midst of this first
A wonderful friend invited us over to dinner Saturday night, the night Mike left (so grateful for this! It really helped to take my mind off the fact that Mike had just flown away for what seems an immense amount of time). Another amazing friend met us at the park for a hug on the way back from the airport. A sweet friend dropped off some beautiful flowers on Monday. My next door neighbor brought up my trash can for me. A friend made 4 mason jar salads at a salad party for me to have for lunch each day. Another friend brought dinner over another night. A friend listened at a gymnastics make up lesson on a really, really, super-awful-no-good-very-bad day. Another friend brought another meal on a different day. So many friends have given hugs and encouraging words. Another wonderful friend brought some chocolate, an Italian soda, and flowers to the park for Valentines Day. Our home-school community at Classical Conversations has set up a meal plan for us, which I am so thankful for. On super crazy, chaotic days spent balancing school, emotional children, and getting everything else done, not having to worry about what I'm going to fix for dinner is heavenly.
These expressions of friendship, support, caring, and love have helped me in this transition so much - especially since the kids are having such a hard time. My friends have surrounded me with love and support, showing me that I am not alone, that I have help, and that I can smile when I face the day, that I can do this, I can get through this.
It really reminded me that in a culture where independence is valued so highly, sometimes it really does take a village to help a person get through life - be it a day, or a season, or the entire thing. Humans are not made to walk this journey alone - we need fellowship. With fellowship comes support.
We are each given a burden in life to carry - taking care of ourselves, our spouses, our family. But sometimes life gives bigger burdens - the loss of a loved one, a serious illness, a deployment or remote tour, an especially overwhelming season (maybe having a lot of tiny humans enter into the world in rapid succession). When those times come, and your community comes alongside you, and wraps their loving arms around, you realize that you are not alone.
For me, feeling the beauty, love, and support of my friends as they came alongside me has been humbling. I feel that I can face this remote tour with greater confidence because I know that I am not alone.
I feel as though I cannot adequately express my gratitude for my sweet, cherished friends who have come beside me in this. Of course my friends cannot replace my husband, but friends are the family that we chose.
Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."