To get the help and support you need, check in with Him on a regular basis.
by Edie Melson — Posted in Military Families on Jan 6, 2017
This holiday season was quiet—in respect to doing things and going places. But it was rich in time spent with people I care about.
I met with old friends for coffee, went on dates with my husband and hung out with our grown kids. And I gained some insight about my relationship with God.
On two consecutive days, I met with two old friends for coffee. The meeting with the first friend was a joyous reunion. We chattered away, exchanging details of our lives and our kids’ lives.
We were both engaged—asking questions, sharing info and plowing the fertile soil of shared memories. Time whizzed by, and two hours seemed more like two minutes.
The next day's meeting with my other friend couldn’t have been more different. The conversation dragged, filled with awkward silences and one-word answers. After an hour, I pleaded another appointment and made my escape.
I pondered the contrast between those two appointments. It seemed that everything should have been the same. But the more I thought about it, the more I began to see the root issues.
The meeting with the first friend was one for which we’d laid the groundwork. Even though it had been almost a year since we’d seen each other, we’d stayed in contact. We’d exchanged emails, shared info via social media, and we prayed for each other.
The meeting with the second friend was a cold start. She and I hadn’t kept in touch through the year and because of that, innocent questions became a minefield of discovery when I found she and her husband had separated.
We struggled to find any common ground, and it felt like what it was–a dry meeting between two people who really hadn’t bothered to show up for each other until that moment.
It hit me that there are times like that with God, when I’ve ignored my relationship with Him–going weeks without prayer or Bible reading.
When I come back to Him a long absence, the time is filled with awkward silences and frustration. He’s there, but I’m just not comfortable because I haven’t kept my side of the relationship alive.
How does this tie into military families? As a military mom to a Marine, I discovered early on that my entire outlook depended on staying close to God. I couldn’t treat Him like an acquaintance I saw once a year and expect the support and strength that I needed to cope.
Instead, what I needed sprang from an ongoing, vibrant relationship with Him. God is always there, but it’s hard to connect if we don't show up and spend time with Him on a regular basis.