Christina is a sweet woman and wonderful friend of my mother. She is such a light to anyone who meets her, and has so much joy it is contagious! Anyone who meets her truly knows something is different about her life because of her compassion and love for others.
“Are you my home?”
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the children’s book Are You My Mother? It follows a tiny bird as it searches for some semblance of a parent after tumbling carelessly out of his nest. He meanders around, questioning anything from a dog to a crane if it’s his mother. The pint-sized bird feels misplaced, away from familiar surroundings and he longs to be a welcomed by the warmth of the familiar.
This is a perfectly illustrated picture of my pilgrimage of being a military wife! (I use the word pilgrimage because I envision myself carrying loads of luggage, of which my husband can support as truth!) I sometimes feel like that misplaced tiny bird; instead I go from house to house asking, “Are you my home?”
I have been a military wife now for over twenty years and military child seventeen years prior to that. I have moved every four to six years of my entire life. (Please don’t do the math to find my age!) Currently, God has called us to reside in Louisiana, this month we will have been living in the Bayou State for over five years!
Midway through my military-wife-pilgrimage there was a small verse in Hebrews that completely transformed my life:
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Can’t you just hear the words jump off the page when the tiny bird shouts, sounding almost frustrated from his journey, “You are NOT my mother!” to the large crane he calls a SNORT. Like that tiny bird I often look at these many dwelling places and shout, “You are NOT my home!”
This life is all I have ever known, but not all I have ever seen.
I have seen aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews all squeezed on to a tiny group of bleachers, just to watch a t-ball game. All the while I tried to remember how I got to the baseball field so can find my way back to my new home in the dark.
I have sat through numerous church services, feeling insignificant because no one knew my name, and I in turn did not know theirs.
I have been culturally confused more times than I care to know; I speak too fast for the south and too slow for the north!
I have gotten lost too many times to count and I have had a driver’s license in five states and one foreign country.
The pilgrimage has been long and trying, but truth be told, I wouldn’t change a thing! I know just how blessed I am to be able to see new places and experience diverse cultures. However, in the midst of my military life journey I realize just how much I struggle with connection.
I find it easy to keep my mind on things above, it’s the connections on earth I struggle with. It’s simple; staying disengaged from deep relationships keeps me safe from the distress of leaving a friend behind. However, I know that is not what God desires for my life!
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Two things I have concluded from my struggle: God created relationship and it’s really not about me. It’s not about me finding a friend it’s about me being a friend and an encourager, even if it’s only for a season.
Let’s revisit that pint sized bird again and his quest to find his mother. The crane, which he chastised for not being his mother, is the very object that elevated him to his perch. Could it be that my perpetual temporary state is the very thing God will use as an open door for a ministry of encouragement?
God desires for me to be involved in other’s lives, to be a blessing. I am inspired by Barnabas, in Acts who was known as the son of encouragement, and everywhere he journeyed he was an encouragement to others. God has opened the door for friendships in every location I have lived in and I have grown in my spiritual walk with every move. Sometimes I was the encourager, and other times I was the recipient of encouragement; meeting many strong godly women along the way.
My faith in Jesus has carried me to the place where I am secure in the knowledge that I have a home waiting for me that is permanent and unshakeable.
My reliance in Christ has allowed me to reach out to others wholeheartedly and cultivate friendships for the glory of His kingdom, even if for just a brief time!
My pilgrimage as a military wife, while at times unpredictable, I can see has lined up perfectly with the necessary growth in my faith journey, and for that I am truly blessed!
Christina is an Air Force wife and a stay-at-home mom to two school age children, with a college age son now living away from home. She loves to study biblical history, and is never far from a vanilla latte. She is currently serving as the Women’s Ministry Leader at First Baptist Church in Haughton, Louisiana, where she has the privilege of exploring creative ways for women to grow in their spiritual walk! In her free time she loves to write, in hopes of one day fulfilling my dream of becoming a published author of Christian fiction!