We drove across the overpass and I looked down at our future home, thinking, “Oh God, what have I done?”
My husband and I were moving to this small mountain town in a few months, but this was my first time seeing it. It was a cold, rainy day and heavy fog hung over us like a blanket.
I looked out the window and I thought about the friends we were leaving and the church where we thrived. Were we crazy? How did we decide it was a good idea to pick up our family and move cross-country for the second time in five years?
And yet, in late January during one of the coldest winters on record, that is exactly what we did.
After living with my in-laws several months while looking for a house, we finally found a place to raise our growing family. Our second son was on the way, and I was eager get active in the community. But the more we tried to find a church family and make friends, the more elusive our desires became.
I wondered if we heard God wrong. Although we prayed fervently before moving, I couldn’t help thinking we made a mistake. What I didn’t realize was that even in the midst of my grief, God moved.
God can use some of our loneliest seasons to draw us closer to Him.
During those months when I grieved the life we lost, God drew me to his side and comforted me like no friend I’d ever known. He gave me an understanding of his Word that can only be gained by living it.
I remember coming across these verses during those first few months in our new town.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
James 1:2-3 NIV
I used to read these verses and think, “Really? That sounds nice in theory, but is it even possible?”
But the move changed me. James’ words came alive in a way I never expected.
After spending some lonely months in the recliner nursing my newborn, I saw that James wasn’t delivering a clichéd platitude. He was speaking truth.
Even thought wasn’t happy about my situation, I realized joy sits deeper than feelings that come and go.
It’s soul knowledge that we cling to an eternal hope beyond our temporary circumstances.
As God worked on my heart, he prepared a place we would call our church home. He brought friends who ministered to me in my sadness.
When a new spring dawned outside our window, I knew our winter of isolation was over. And I thanked God for the strengthened faith he gave me during the cold.