My oldest son is a social butterfly…in the manliest way of course. So when we told him months ago that we would be moving to Texas, we began to prepare him that he would be leaving his friends. Here he is reading with two of them.
He actually took it pretty well and would often comment, “my friends sure are going to miss me.” 🙂 He wasn’t necessarily thinking of himself but of how his friends would feel once he was gone. Well, it hasn’t quite been a month yet, and we can see that moving has taken a toll on him. He continues to ask about his friends, and every person we meet in the park or at the last church we visited is a potential “friend.” He craves connection, and his little brother just isn’t cutting it.
I actually thought I would be the one feeling sad and lonely. In fact I was so concerned about it for so many days that I was throwing myself pity parties every day. It’s not that I didn’t think it would be hard on my kids, because I did think it would be difficult for them to adjust.
I hear people say things all the time about how they wouldn’t want to make a big decision in life because of how it might affect their kids. I’ve heard people ask this about missionaries (“But what about your kids? How are they going to adjust to life in a foreign country?”), and now I’m asking myself, “how is this move affecting my kids?” I could easily go down the road of worry and try to plan and fix and coddle. But I’m thinking…no, not this time.
I’m seeing how God has made us to desire connection with others, and obviously with Himself. I’m remembering how God has taken care of me, and I’m trusting that He is going to take care of my kids. Sure, it’s going to hurt my mother heart to see my normally spunky, happy-go-lucky 5 year old a little down in the dumps, but He will give grace as needed even for my little person.
I know it won’t be easy all the time to maintain this perspective, but for today, I’m trusting, and I encourage you to do the same. If you’re dealing with loneliness, take it to Him. Ask Him for connection, first with Him, and then with others. He is all we need, but He’s so good that He gives us people to enjoy relationships with as well. He also gives us trials in which we can know that the end result is for our good. Take a chance. Trust Him. He’s worth it (and He’s got the connections to prove it).