It was just recently that I sat back thinking about all the ways God has managed to change my life in the last 20 months since we have moved to Tacoma. The weekend we moved to Tacoma we Google'ed (how would we survive without Google, right!) Foursquare churches and Puget Sound Christian Center was the church that popped up over and over. We attended that first weekend and we have been there nearly every weekend since. At a glance looking at my family you would see a family dressed the part of faithful Christians attending church on the weekends with a smile on their faces. However, all the while heading home to their grief and sadness. As Derek and I worked through this grieving process it was as if God had a highlighter and showed us the path. Amazingly enough PSCC was offering a grief share class last year and Derek and I decided it would be a great opportunity for us. We learned, we grieved, and now we are beginning to put piece by piece of our life back together. It is now that I can look back that I see how God had to strip certain areas of lives away (i.e. friends, comfort of home, warm weather) to bring us to a place where we could deal with the matters of our hearts. We needed to be "alone" so as a family we could deal with our grief in a way that aloud us to grow.
I can say now that I have friends here in Tacoma. I have met amazing people from church, from the running group Derek and I joined, and from the military. I would say I have many acquaintances and a handful of amazingly close friends, and I wouldn't have it any other way. God has placed friends in our path that have been so very compassionate and have helped Derek and I work through this difficult season. The season has been so lonely but not lonely. It doesn't seem that this thought makes any sense but truly it does. What it really comes down to is in our darkest loneliest seasons God truly meets us where we are at...and eventually He sends others to love and support us. It is like the book of Daniel chapter 6 when the king tells Daniel to bow down to him and Daniel refuses, it as if he said to the king, "Even if." Even if you throw me in the lions den and I die, I will praise God. This season has been dark, lonely, and hard but friends life is worth the fight. God longs for us, He never gives up on us. Even if my whole world falls apart I will praise Him. Even if my son dies and I don't understand. Even if I move. Even if I long for the comfort and love of home. Even if I long for friends. Even If.
The Reese family truly happy. November 18, 2012. Even if life dishes out uncertain deployments. Even If.