And boy do they! Change, that is....so quickly! I moved back home to Washington with complete confidence that going home was my final lifetime move. Not so fast! Two and one half years later, I began to feel a stirring. OK Lord, what's going on ? I was determined to give my new life there time and proper adjustment. Longing for purpose I naturally got involved in my new church and enjoyed the groups I contributed too, the neighborhood Bible study I established, the gospel teaching of our pastors, and volunteering at the local cancer center. My son and family came as often as they could, my sis and I enjoyed occasional biking and a few odd ventures, and my brother and wife visited often. Then why was I feeling so disconnected? I found myself shamelessly inviting myself to be included in others lunches, ventures etc....I guess you might say, I just wanted to be included in establishing meaningful friendships. Why was it so hard to establish friendships? I know now, and understand that age, already established friendships, and the fact you really can't go home again, all contribute to it. Oh yes, I had dozens of acquaintances but with the exception of an old (not old, old) but a neighbor from years ago in Spokane who just happened to be living there, I did not,...connect. She was a dear and tried her darndest to find time for me. Her life was so full at times I felt like I was intruding in it! She will be missed as I hope she misses me.
And then there was Shirley. My 83 yr old neighbor! What a darling! My move to Washington was fulfilled in that one dear soul. If for no other reason I moved there, it was for her.
One day she came knocking on my door with a question that only the Lord could have placed on her heart. "Can you tell me more about why it is so important to get to know Jesus?" She explained that she had listened to me speak of Jesus and His influence in my life several times during our conversations, and she had no idea of what I was speaking. My heart nearly exploded! "Lord please give me the words to clearly explain Your love for her and how You willingly died even for her." I invited her in and she listened intently as I went through the gospel story. Jesus touched her heart, she invited Him in and with a complete humble heart asked if she could join my Bible study so she could learn more of this Jesus who was now residing in her heart. Oh what joy to watch her learn and grow in the Lord! Thank you Lord for using me as Your instrument to introduce this one who had never heard the Good News of Jesus. This appointed moment showed me that even when I felt like an outsider, God used me in the most important thing in life...introducing another to Him.
I imagine I could have stayed but life has a way of moving us on. Why? I have yet to totally understand that. Loneliness does funny things. I'm grateful for the time spent with my dear family back there and I purpose to visit often. My time there was productive and I know He used me in wonderful ways, so I do not regret giving it a try. Once again my heart aches for those I left, but it is also full of happiness to be back in Minnesota again. Things have changed here also, as expected. Time does that your know. People change, circumstances change, but I know the Lord will open new doors if I simply allow Him to do His work in me. Just to know I have family close by, relationships to reestablish, and to feel the excitement of waiting to see how things unfold. Who knows what the future will bring.. Right now I expect to finish life here, but God may have different plans. I'm just gonna buckle up for the ride!