I used to be so sad and angry to be detached and far from the people I love, and in addition to being apart, I was alone without support of any kind of community. Don’t get me wrong, there has always been plenty of communities in the military and in the parishes, but we were always the outcasts because we had more than the standard one or two kids and were actually open to more, and it was pretty much sadly true in the parish life as well. Alot of people tolerated us because they knew it was the nicer thing to do, but we weren’t often called back. Why did God see fit to send us off on our own to places and situations that were contrary to who we are and what we believe and do our very best to live out each day?
Then, we got orders to southern Virginia via 4 months in California. Alleluia! God blessed us with a pretty much permanent family status after all those years of loneliness. 4 months in California with family and friends we’ve known for years, or our whole life!, and then back to the east coast and a short drive away from the rest of our family and some pretty amazing friends. And then it happened: God saw us nicely settled in and wham! He takes the rest of the family away. He moves Lowell’s family away from me to Pennsylvania and makes sure my hates-the-car baby won’t make a visit doable any time real soon. Why do that now, especially when I have reached the peak of needing help and support while my husband is always away from me, from us?
Recently, I was talking to one of my friends, who is really like a sister, and she asked why we weren’t able to be close to each other. She is in Nevada while her family is in Tennessee, so she is just as detached as I am, she just gets to see her man more often ;). She recently found out they are expecting their third and the news was not kindly received by the people she thought were their friends. She and I talked about how hard it is to be away from family and friends who understand and support us. It’s not that we don’t get it, but there is a dramatic difference between facebook and phone call support and the physical hands on, lets have a drink together support.
It was with that conversation that it hit me, that I found a new peace about the lot in my life. I started to think about all the little communities that are raising huge, fervent Catholic families in Southern California and even in the Bay Area, too, not to mention in Texas and northern Virginia as well. And, then I started to think about how alot of the young adults are branching out with their families, for whatever their reasons are, or sent out in their priestly and religious vocations, and are being planted in places that are nothing like we knew growing up. Now, some of us have been blessed to find great communities and friends, but some of us have been stranded without anything more than negativity. But, that’s just it! And, it is so appropriate during the current ways of our sad country today. God is forming and creating such goodness in these small, strong communities all over and has begun sending each of us out to be His beacons of light and hope. To be the example of change and restoration that is needed in our Church and in our country. As things continue to deteriorate with contraception & abortion, euthanasia, and now the [attempted] recognized union of homosexuals, people are going to start opening their eyes and looking at the people next to them. They are going to be looking at us and our peace in Christ Who leads us and will desire that same peace, (if they aren’t sneering and making rude comments about it that is). We are being sent out of our comfort zones and being called to burn brightly for Christ so that our fire will spark the dwindling fires in others lives so that we as a whole can be restored and renewed.
Now, this doesn’t make the reality of life any easier, especially when you are in the isolated clump of people, or if your husband is always called away, but to think that this is most likely the reason why we are being separated from our families and life long friends so that we can bring Christ’s love to more than our standard circles, it makes enduring it more sweet than bitter. Knowing that we may not see the fruit of our labors for Christ at this time, but that we are being examples to more people than we know or realize. That we are spreading the news of the Kingdom of God by simply being us in a world that is determined to shame us for our openness to life and our beliefs in the natural unions between one man and woman. Because, there are more and more little groups growing and their young will eventually be forced to venture out into the great unknown at some point to go through the same thing we are going through. The world might think we are fading away, but in 10, 20, 30 years, there will be a big difference in our Church attendances and other simple group gatherings, and it is because in a sense, we have begun taking over and taking it back and are giving it all to Whom it rightfully belongs: God.