I’ve always been a person who has routinely “belonged” to something – be it a church, small group, or simply a band of like-minded moms. Belonging to these communities has always been a staple in my life. That feeling of being known, loved, and welcomed with open arms is something I have found to be invaluable. I even encourage other women to “find your tribe” and love them well. I know we aren’t meant to do this life alone, and we all need this type of support.
Lately, however, I have found myself in a transition with most of these groups I had previously been a part of for years. The life group we belonged to ended up dissolving. We moved from a small church to a larger one due to the evolving needs of our kids, especially our middle schooler. So far I wouldn’t say it feels quite like home. We think about trying other churches, but we also feel like maybe this is the best there is for us right now. And so we sit in the uncomfortable “in between” of not knowing where it is we’re supposed to really be.
Besides transitions with church, my 5-year-old made the leap from pre-K to elementary school this year. The community of mothers I used to have has all but dissipated as our kids now go to different schools and have made new friends. It’s a strange feeling seeing the same preschool mamas for years and then one day it’s practically gone. Of course we try to keep in touch, but life has gotten in the way with school and activities.
So I have been struggling with what community looks like at this time in my life: yearning to belong somewhere, but in reality, belonging nowhere at all. I imagine how isolating it must be for families who move around all the time due to job changes. It feels in many ways that I am starting over too, and it’s something I never saw coming. And honestly, it can be a bit lonely at times.
It isn’t that God is silent with me during this time. Because I do hear from Him. His words closely align with this waiting period.
“Be still.” “Breathe.” “Let yourself rest.”
And scriptures have been coming up in my life like this: The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
It’s a little like floating in the the middle of the ocean but the waters are relatively calm – I just don’t know which direction I’m headed. I’m not in the midst of a hard storm necessarily. I do feel peace. But I don’t know what’s next and that can feel a tad unsettling.
Yet I’ve noticed something during this time – how close we have grown as a family of five. We have really perfected the art of being together. We have been on some fun travel adventures this season and have more outings planned. Our togetherness has strengthened our family bond in countless ways. We are definitely not caught up in in the full-blown busyness of life, and that feels refreshing.
While we wait in quiet anticipation of where God will lead us, I am honing in on our newfound closeness. Perhaps this is the purpose in waiting. To realize I do, in fact, “belong” and it’s to the most important tribe of all.