September 05, 2011

The Newcomer

What a difference a year makes.

Today I went to a Newcomers Luncheon offered by our church to anyone that is, well, a newcomer.  We had an incredible spread of food in a woman's home that feels like you are in a boutique hotel when you walk inside.  I got there early balancing my salad bowl, my phone, my purse and trying to kick off my cute shoes outside the door before going in.

Yes, I was wearing cute shoes and not my cushiony shoes which means I am nursing a pretty sore foot right about now. But it was totally worth it!!  Or would have been except we all left our shoes outside the door so no one knew those super cute shoes actually belonged to me.  And my mama taught me that it was just plain tacky to walk people to the front door just to show off your cute shoes.  Almost as bad as popping your gum.

Where was I?  Oh, right.  Salad bowl, phone, purse.

I walked in the door and greeted my friends that were all inside preparing for the women that were going to be arriving at any moment.  We talked in that easy kind of manner that comes with lots of time spent together.  A comment, a quick conversation, an easy compliment, the finishing of a story started days before.

As women started trickling in I would look into their faces and see myself just one year ago.  The day I walked into the same house having left my shoes at the front door, cursing myself for not having a fresh pedicure.  The day I stepped out of my comfort zone, which was my pajamas and my couch, and ventured out hoping to make a new friend and determined to remember the names of these women who seemed to have it all together.  The day I tried really hard to not look as desperate as I felt to belong.  To have some kind of purpose in this crazy country.

Today I walked up to different ladies new to Singapore and got to tell them that I understood how they were feeling.  How frustrating it can be to be overwhelmed by a grocery store.  I tried to tell them that they would be ok and could see on some of their faces that they weren't sure they would be.

It's those situations in life that separate you from everyone around you.  The move to a foreign country. The birth of a baby.  The death of a loved one.  A new relationship.  A divorce.  A lost job.  Sudden fortune.

Finding God or feeling like you're lost to Him completely.

The times that you want to find someone, anyone else, that can look you in the eyes and tell you that they understand because they have walked that same road.  Be it a good road or a difficult road, sometimes you just want to know you aren't the first one forging the way.

I currently have a verse hanging on the mirror in the boy's bathroom that I am bribing, I mean, encouraging them to memorize.  I was having Garrett tell me part of it today and it just hit me.  Right between the eyes, it hit me.

He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it,
He bring us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we 
can be there for that person just as God was there for us.  2 Cor 1:4

What a difference a year makes.

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