{part II: on being brave + knowing some seasons are for processing a lot.}

a gift from angie last year, a little pocket book of her favorite verses

yesterday opened my eyes to a lot of things i wasn’t expecting to see. in an era where it’s so easy to connect online through various forms of social media, instead of face-to-face, there are obviously so many women who feel inadequate or friendless… and i’m definitely including myself in that group. someone on twitter told me yesterday evening that they were surprised my life isn’t “always perfect and happy” and it made me really wonder ~ is that what people really think? is that what i want people to think?

if i’m struggling with something that others are struggling with, maybe it WOULD be better to share some of those things on here? because, seriously, my life is not perfect.

maybe it’s a nudge to find more things to be appreciative about throughout my day-to-day. zack and i have an amazing marriage, we have wonderful families, we have a cute pup {BAUER!}, a cousin that lives with us, and our health. but clearly the lord is trying to show me some things, because moving around has always been a huge part of our marriage. this summer will be our 4th anniversary; we’ve lived in 3 different cities since getting married and have lived in 4 different homes. i don’t like that “M” word but i know we’re not done using it.

that reminds me of a funny story…. shortly after we moved to minneapolis i was at the pharmacy trying to get a prescription filled. the pharmacist had my insurance card but was having trouble running it, so she asked me to verify our previous address. she totally caught me off guard and i remember just staring at her, i was so confused. hahhhhhhh, i totally know where i live, i thought. [thinks hard] no, no i don’t… i tried to think of something that would remind me of where we were but nothing came to mind, so naturally i asked her if she could give me a clue? anything really ;D but i could tell she didn’t think that was funny by the way she told me, “no”. {awkward.}

what i’m getting at is since getting married zack and i have been on an adventure: new cities nearly every year and unexpected job changes and job losses {back in 2009}, and now our weeks consist of frequent Gussy meetings and trying to finish with dinner before 9pm. i know the lord is challenging us with a greater goal in mind ~ the lord is teaching us new things ~ the lord has a fantastic plan. it’s just that it’s so easy to get caught up with life’s “little hurts” when really they’re just bumps in my plan.

my plan, not His plan…

i read through every comment left yesterday — THANK YOU ALL for sharing your hearts; so many of your comments brought me to tears :) — and there were quite a few that touched my heart:
* heather shared, “Please don’t ever feel like you are alone- you have so many gals who look up to you and support you even from far away.”

* liv shared, “Although I adore you, I know I can’t give you what you want/need in your deepest friendships. A big part of it is life stage.”

* ashley shared, “Thanks for posting this today and reminding me that I’m not alone either…”

* mindy shared, “what i finally did was just ask God to “plop” someone in my life who could help fulfill (in the limited way a human can, at least) my friend needs.”

* shelly shared, “I think you probably made a whole lot of people not feel quite so alone today.”

so so so thankful for this community!

can i share one more thing? this song…

My Hope Is In You by Aaron Shust on Grooveshark

the lord will fight for you, you need only to be still, exodus 14:14

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Sharing how you feel with someone, anyone, will always reassure that you are not alone. Even though so many women look up to you and admire you, they know your life isn’t perfect. But sharing that with us from time to time reminds us that as women we all struggle and we all need to band together to become stronger! :) xoxo

  2. 2

    Nadir@StitchSense says

    We can always count on your honesty, it can’t be easy, but thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities. That’s got to be the hardest thing to do. Still praying… :-)

  3. 3

    Evie from St. Paul says

    I love your sweet heart for the Lord. My son’s fiance has a sweet heart for the Lord. She loves all things crafty. She has an online business. She too left all her friends behind to start a new life with her husband to be. She lives in starts with Saint and ends with Paul. You 2 need to meet! (I’m serious! :)

  4. 5

    says

    Aww Gussy. How is it, when we’re so far away geographically, that you can find a way to speak my heart for me? Let’s get this out of the way: Let’s be friends. Okay? Okay, good.

    Second, I’ve felt very very similar to what you shared yesterday (sorry, missed it then!). It has taken us 3 1/2 years to finally feel like we’ve built a life in our new city. It took FOREVER to find a church, but having one has definitely helped. I still feel alone a lot, though. And I know some of it is just lies and emotions, but that doesn’t make it easier.

    All that to say, I feel you. And I absolutely love that song. Sometimes I just blast it, on repeat, until my soul feels it’s truth. I’ll be praying for you, friend. Feel free to get in touch if you’re having a down day!

    p.s.- seriously, the loud volume & repeat help :)

    • 6

      says

      why is it so hard to find a church???? i feel like the process has been just as much a surprise, never did we think it would be this challenging to find a church… but it has been. and now that we aren’t going that often it’s also hard to get back into the groove… :) hopefully the lord hears my thoughts right now, tee hehe. LORD WE WANT TO FIND AN AWESOME CHURCH!

      xoxo

  5. 7

    says

    Oh, and on the off chance that I haven’t hit the “weirdo” level yet, if you ever feel the need to M_VE to SC, we can be friends IRL, too :)

  6. 9

    says

    Your address story totally made me laugh! We are military and I’ve done that very same thing soooo many times!! Address?phone number? Ummmm well… Lol awkward is right!!

  7. 11

    says

    The story of forgetting the address was priceless. I haven’t moved nearly as much as you and I would probably forget too. Thanks again for the encouraging words. :)

  8. 13

    says

    Love this.

    And yes, a happy marriage, an amazing biz and good health is something to be ecstatic about! Cheers to that. And to His plan.

    :)

  9. 14

    says

    Love these posts, Maggie!! I think it’s easy for bloggers to paint the picture of a perfect life, when obviously, no one’s is, so I appreciate you sharing your struggles and your faith. I too, have struggled in the lonliness department (even with living in the same town my entire life), but God has brought some amazing friends into my life over the past couple years. He knows what you need, but I think it’s so important to voice that to Him. Tell Him what you need. xo

    • 15

      says

      the crazy thing is i’ve struggled with this for almost 2 years now. it’s hard to know what to share, what is truly just a quick season (vs. what will be a longer season), how much to share, etc. but i think letting a little bit of this out has not only been therapeutic for me but for others as well. thursday’s post had so many ladies saying, “I FEEL LONELY, TOO!” that i’m really feeling like these two posts are just the start of something else.

      i’m surprised… and relieved :)

      thanks natalie for the encouragement… xoxoxo

  10. 16

    Elizabeth Knox says

    I LOVE your blog and that verse is one of my favorites! I even make greeting cards with that verse. That verse has gotten me through losing my daughter(2007). We don’t always know or understand the Lords plan for our lives but his plan is always for good! :] You are never alone even when you feel like you are.

  11. 17

    says

    i am LOVING that song. first time i heard it i think tears were streaming down my face. (2 songs i recommend too : Laura Story- What a Savior and Matt Redman- You Alone Can Rescue) how often i need to be reminded of the hope we have in the Lord despite how alone we feel. my husband’s job has required us to move every 6 months for the past 2 years now and i can completely understand not having a home church, being without friends, and not remembering your previous address! ha! so often in this technology world we tend to see the material things (instagram pictures-i easily take photos of the “stuff”), cool projects (blog crafts/tutorials), etc…..
    and none of these are wrong or even bad (they are often blessings), but are they a real picture of life? struggles? heartaches? loneliness? you are so brave to write about the things you are dealing with and matters of the heart. please continue to do so, you inspire so many!!! the Lord is truly using you and your blog to share Him and the HOPE we have only through & found in Him!!!! thank you!!! as Ann would say “all is grace”!!!!

  12. 19

    says

    How often do we look at another person’s life and wish it were ours. Everything seems so perfect and fulfilled but we don’t get a glimpse at their true daily struggles. Being successful doesn’t always equal happiness. You are truly a gifted and blessed lady. I love reading your posts and get encouragement from them. God will certainly bring that special friend into your life when you least except it. Beth Moore’s study of James “Mercy Triumphs” truly opened my heart and my eyes to a life complete. My cup runneth over this morning. James 1:2

    • 20

      says

      you’re right, and being successful doesn’t always look like what others view as success. someone shared with me something like “loved by many, known by few” and i feel that sums up a lot of how i’m feeling. there’s a very delicate, lovely balance to indie biz/working from home/being online and i’m still seeking that. thank you for taking a few minutes to leave me a comment diana :) you are treasured.

      off to look up the book you mentioned… :)

  13. 21

    Elizabeth says

    I’m a brand new reader, and this post really struck a chord with me. My husband and I will have been married 6 years in April, and in two weeks we are moving to what will be our 5th state since getting married.

    Lived in Alabama (our home state), married April 2006
    Moved to Houston, TX in April 2007
    Moved to Oklahoma City, OK in July 2010
    Moved to Minneapolis, MN in July 2011
    Moving to Portland, OR in March 2012

    It’s TOUGH, and our friends and family sure don’t understand it but we’ve gone to where the jobs lead. If anything it’s made our marriage even stronger/better since we haven’t stayed in one place long enough to really make friends and we love spending time with each other and in two of those cities have even worked for the same company so we could commute together. Our plan is for Portland to be our last stop (we’ve been trying to move there for years) and the first thing I plan to go is get out there and start meeting people. I’ve already contacted the local alumni chapter for my Sorority and plan to start looking for a church when we figure out where we’ll be living after the corporate housing. Thankfully I have a few friends from high school or college who’ve already moved up in that area so I’m hoping to reconnect with them and start meeting other people.

    Anyways this is getting rather long, and you don’t even know me, but I just wanted to say that I completely understand what you’re feeling and I hope that maybe it helps to know that you’re not alone in these feelings!

  14. 22

    says

    Exodus 14:14 is a favorite of mine. So good and true! Glad He fights when we are unable or can’t do it on our own, which is so often!

  15. 23

    Lisa McGriff says

    Let me start by saying I do not know how you feel…. BUT…. I have lived in this little south Alabama town since my birth (47 years ago), left a job I had been at for 22 years, and have been working at a church for the past year… My husband just accepted a job in Indiana (and he is already there) and I will be moving up that way in mid April… Afraid? YES! Know anyone in Valparaiso, IN? NO… But the one thing I do know without a doubt.. the Lord has been orchestrating this since I left my job a year ago. My hubby was offered the job on Friday, Jan 13th (:o) and we mentioned that our house was going to be for sale on Monday Jan 16th, got an offer the next day and we closed this past week. Sold it to someone I work with at the church.. Does God have a plan, Oh yes… I am hesitant to be moving to a new town-state-area…I know no one…but that’s ok…I’m going to do my best and when I get lonely..I’m going to reach out to my friends on this blog world and ask them to pray with me…

    I will be praying for you and that God will reveal his plan for your lives…

    Lisa, Dothan, AL

    • 24

      says

      hi lisa! i love that you wrote, “the Lord has been orchestrating this…” — that is SO true and SO important to remember. something else i need to remember too… the lord will never be done working in my life, and if i feel like something is incomplete then i need to trust the lord isn’t done with that “thing”. xoxo

    • 25

      says

      I feel like I’m eavesdropping, Lisa, but do you know Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing? She lives in or near Valparaiso. So does Love from Moments with Love. Both of those ladies are OUTSTANDING women – of faith, of authenticity, of fun. Maybe God can make a connection for you?

  16. 28

    says

    {hug} thanks for keeping it real G :) these seasons aren’t fun, but they will end. My struggle lately is feeling lonely – a new baby majorly alters your lifestyle and my old core group of friends is no longer in my life. My biggest challenge? Trying not to compare my life/blog/friendships with what I see other people portraying on Twitter :( social media is great, but it can make me feel small and outcast.

    • 29

      says

      can i just share with you how much your consistency to be a part of this community means to me???? because honestly, it means so much :) happy saturday to you, friend! xoxo

  17. 32

    says

    Dang. Your last two posts have described exactly how I feel too! I haven’t really felt like I had close friends since high school (five years ago). Now I seriously just hang out with my sister-in-laws. They’re cool, but I wish I had super close friends in a similar life stage to me (married/trying to have babies, or even married WITH babies…). I’m such an old lady and don’t like going “out”, so it’s super hard to make friends.

    How come no one wants to come over and play video games and talk about babies with me?

    • 33

      says

      right?????? ohhhhhhhh, i just adore your heart. seriously, the perfect evening is curled up on the couch with the most comfiest pajamas and a big blanket and a dear friend. and maybe some yarn to crochet with? oh yes, i’m an old lady over here, too ♥ i’ll pray for us both to find a granny friend!!!

      • 34

        says

        Oh my goodness. I would love to have a friend who sat around with me watching movies, talking and CROCHETING.

        If/when my husband & I move to Minneapolis (hopefully this summer if he gets a job there which he’s really hoping for!) we can be granny lady friends.

        I wish we were going to be in Minneapolis more than two days next week so I could have met up with you! That would have been so much fun!

  18. 35

    says

    I remember when Josh took his first church out in the country, in a teeny town, in the farmlands of Ohio….AND I WAS MISERABLE. It was my first time as a pastor’s wife, full-time stay at home mom, and country dweller. I went on a walk one evening and cried out to God “This is the last place I want to be !” and I heard God whisper back “This is exactly where I want you to be.” Those soft words changed me. As long as I know I am where God wants me, it is not always easy, but I feel satisfied knowing there is a reason and a plan for this season.

    I love you Maggie and am thankful for you sharing from your heart. Give us more.

    Molly

    • 36

      says

      oh molly :) so good to see your name here and hear a little bit of encouragement from you, which you are so amazing at providing. i adore you so much!!!!! to be honest, hearing God say “this is exactly where i want you to be” makes me sad. i’m tired of feeling this way… tired of feeling like i’m alone with these feelings (which i know i’m not)… tired of having life be so hard :) i sound like such a baby, haha, i know. it can be hard to remember God’s plan is better than my plan, but i know it’s true. love you molly… i hope we can catch up on the phone soon :)

  19. 37

    says

    We live in Kokomo which is about 2 hrs from Valparaiso, IN but I have friends who are originally from that area. If you would like I can see if they have any information to pass on.

    Peggy, Kokomo, IN for the past 2 yrs (5 in Alaska, 5 in Ohio, and more places than you can shake a stick at..)

  20. 38

    says

    Maggie – you are SOOO special for sharing such a personal and honest post(s)! I recently read the book “The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers”. There was one chapter that focused on key friendships. The material really applies to all women, not just mothers. She says, “Loneliness gouges a woman’s heart because inherent in loneliness is a subconscious feeling that we deserve to be alone.” WOW! That one spoke directly to my heart. It is hard when you work at home to reach out and create friendships. It is even harder in a new, large city. I pray that you find that one special friend in Minneapolis that gives you the comfort you are looking for.

    I only got a chance to meet you briefly at BlissDom, but you touched me as a very caring, special soul. You now have a large community praying for you. We all feel seasons of loneliness….the lows only give us the perspective to realize and appreciate the highs. {{HUGS}}

  21. 40

    says

    Again, i can totally relate to your story. Not only can I not remember my address, but recently I traveled to 3 different time zones in 2 weeks and I couldn’t remember where I was or what day/time it was. People thought I was weird, but it was really discombobulating for me. We’ve already moved again since arriving in Santa Fe less than a year ago and I can hardly remember my address. I’m still writing my zip code from Louisiana. Yikes!

  22. 41

    says

    Totally understand your feelings of loneliness and feeling friendless. Like in our conversations before, I’ve shared that I’m going through the same thing as a new mom, with none of my friends having children yet. I’ve had several friends tell me that they don’t want to be my friend anymore because we’re different now, they don’t want to plan hangouts around my family, or around my lack of availability. Which is fine. I understand. I’ve said goodbye to those friendships and I definitely feel it was for the best. But now I’m left with very few friends at all. And it has hurt so much. It’s something I’ve been praying about for over a year, for God to bring someone into my life that I can have a true friendship with, share my feelings, struggles, hobbies and laughs with. Just a couple of weeks ago I went out to coffee with a friend-of-an-acquaintance from college… pretty much a stranger… that wanted to know more about blogging and the handmade community, and I think I’ve finally found a new friend! I definitely feel like God brought us together, and she’s exactly what I’ve needed after these past two years of loneliness. I cry just thinking about how my prayer is finally being answered. I’ll be praying for you, too, Dear. God’s got friends lined up for you – you just need to step out and do something uncomfortable and weird, like go out to coffee with a stranger. ;) And like I’ve told you before, even though you’re looking for non-moms as friends, I am always available to hang out in the evenings. Let’s set something up.

    • 42

      says

      [inhale]

      that breaks my heart. one thing positive thing i feel like i’m really able to share during this time is that people, women, have such sensitive souls and while it may be easy to forget, it’s the truth. it surprises me that others would be shocked to read i’m feeling lonely, because i think about this every day, all the time. why wouldn’t i feel the same thing others feel??? i was on ann voskamp’s blog yesterday and absolutely loved this post and her unique perspective on being a friend: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/02/4-ways-to-be-a-better-friend/

      on a similar note, from someone that would love to be a mama, but isn’t right now, maybe some of your friends are hiding their true feelings? i know for me personally it’s been hard to be around mamas. i would love to be pregnant, would love to have a newborn, would love to have a small group of “little people” at my feet all day long :) that’s not what God wants for us right now and it’s been hard to accept that. like, really super hard. i find i’m drawn to women that are mothers ~ maybe because i long to be one, too? ~ but that makes it hard because our schedules, lives, are so so so so different. i don’t understand their world and they don’t understand mine. (or so it seems.) and another thing that has been hard: trying to process my feelings when i’m around other moms. obviously i can’t hide my emotions in a closet, haha! but some days that seems to be a good idea, haha! the LAST THING i want to do is make a woman feel badly about being a mom. but i feel left out. terribly left out. and no matter how hard we try to avoid the comments they’re still made: “when will you have kids?” — “do you want a family?” — “oh, that sounds like a pregnancy dream… are you pregnant?” — it’s terrible. i’m not sure how to process all of this. so i write this to share that maybe some of your friends have pulled away because they can’t process emotionally how to be around kids, because they would a child but haven’t been gifted one yet.

      there are two sides to what we’re experiencing. both are right. both are hard. both aren’t a surprise to the lord… xoxo

      [exhale]

  23. 43

    says

    I love your honesty in the last two posts. Please know that you are not alone. A lot of us, especially those of us who work at home, feel isolated and alone. I have experienced that feeling many a time. Working from home often leaves me feeling disconnected because I am…well always at home! I am thankful for my children because if I was younger and childless working from home I would probably never leave my house. Picking them up from school, and being active in the PTA helps me a lot. I also try to involve myself in networking opportunities with other work at home moms, and be active in church. You will always have your online friends to support you but I know it isn’t always the same as having that IRL connection! Take care and praying this season passes quickly for you!

  24. 44

    ellie d says

    girl, i am just catching up on your past couple of posts and *SO* appreciate you putting your heart right out there. i find it really important on a blog like yours to not sugar-coat everything. when you’re feeling unsettled like this, you have the right to let it out and i think we are all kinda glad that you did. (not that it’s a good thing to be upset like this…well, you know what i mean :))

    like kelly, i swear you must be reading my mind :) i, too am in the same sort of place… my best friends are many miles away and it isn’t until i am with them (under five times a year *maybe*) that i really don’t feel alone anymore. i am moving this fall and am both very excited and find it extremely nervewracking to have this fresh start and get to meet a new set of folks. for now though, i do have a solid church community that has held me (and my faith) together like nothing else. so i really, really challenge you to get out there and go “church shopping” :) keep searching and just see what feels right. and when you find *that* one, you’ll know it! we have some fantastic ones in my area, i just wish you weren’t 1500 miles away!!

    i know i’m not the only one who has told you this, but God has you where you are right now for a purpose that you may not know of in the moment, but you’ll figure it out overtime. we love you! keep doing what you’re doing, cause you sure are good at it.

    i feel like this comment was all about me… i had no intention of sounding self-centered, i just think it really helps to hear that other people are going through the same thing. so i hope i did help a bit. :)
    ps. that aaron shust song is my favorite. liiike, i listen to it on repeat multiple times a day. it keeps me going. always.

    you are a huge inspiration to me (along with many others), and i hope you know that. i’m praying for you to find your “niche” in your current community! xoxoxo

  25. 46

    says

    its so funny that you posted that song…ive been singing it alllll week! i just can’t get it out of my head:) guess that’s a good problem to have:)

  26. 47

    says

    Maggie, I’ve been thinking about your last post ever since I read it. It was so beautiful and obviously came from such an authentic, sweet spirit, I was praying about how to respond.

    But now there’s this, and I think I can respond better here. ;-) I relate to so much of what you’ve written. When I was first married, my husband and I moved a lot too. When we bought our house last year and moved in, it was our 10th house in 18 years. Our first few years, we moved about once a year – from Minneapolis to Phoenix to San Diego to San Francisco, back to San Diego…. It was really fun and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but moving brings its own inherent loneliness, as does just growing up and moving away from friends and family. And then there’s the whole single-married-married+kids issue, which throws another layer of separateness on it.

    But as you well know, God is so faithful. Even in the loneliness and longing, there is much to learn. Did you read Kristen Strong’s post over at in(courage) today? It’s so relevant. http://www.incourage.me/2012/03/what-you-can-find-while-youre-waiting-on-friends.html

  27. 48

    says

    Hello! I’ve been blog hopping this evening (early morning?!) and have completely halted here at your space. I was initially in love with the photo of the verses your friend gave you, thinking I could make that for my Compassion kids. In reading more, I’m captivated by your honesty, and story. It is motivating (I’m in the process of starting an Etsy store! – Papercrafting!).

    Anyhow, Thanks in advance. I’ll be returning tomorrow to read more!

  28. 52

    says

    This is really uplnitifg *sigh* I dont like that I have this problem and I try to keep things in perspective because I know the world doesn’t revovle around myself but at times I just get the feeling that everyone is looking at me and judging me for my every mistake, it makes it hard to even interact with people without being even in the least anxious. This is uplnitifg though and I will def turn my problems to the Lord because at this point he is the only one that can help me. Thanks for the post and your helping people like us by just talking about your situations and giving us all courage.

  29. 53

    says

    This is really upfintilg *sigh* I dont like that I have this problem and I try to keep things in perspective because I know the world doesn’t revovle around myself but at times I just get the feeling that everyone is looking at me and judging me for my every mistake, it makes it hard to even interact with people without being even in the least anxious. This is upfintilg though and I will def turn my problems to the Lord because at this point he is the only one that can help me. Thanks for the post and your helping people like us by just talking about your situations and giving us all courage.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] covers from Gussy Sews–very cute hand sewn products.  And I was surprised when it led me to this post on the front page of her blog.  “Gussy” friended me on Facebook awhile back.  I guess [...]

  2. [...] Minneapolis. We still don’t have a church — that may have changed though? — and I don’t feel like I fit in here. And now I fear I’m rambling and/or hurting others. But I’m not going to delete my [...]

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