How We’re Learning
by Adrienne Terrebonne
As the wife of an airman, moving has become second-nature. Usually by the third year of living in the same town, I am itching to pack up my house and move to a new place. Even though it isn’t always easy to make friends or find a place to serve in a new town, I still enjoy the “fresh start” feeling that moving brings.
However, our recent move brought many changes to our lives. We returned to a post we were assigned to several years ago, and the excitement we felt upon returning was palpable. I couldn’t wait to catch up with old friends, explore our favorite haunts, and jump back into serving our old church.
I expected my children to be just as excited as I was.
My oldest daughter is currently struggling with making new friends and finding a place to fit in. High school is meant to be savored, but right now, it’s less than enjoyable for her. Although she has made a few friends and has reconnected with a few more, she doesn’t have her usual squad of friends from our former duty station to hang out with. It’s been a huge adjustment for her.
Many times, our daughter has questioned why God moved us once again to a new city. I have questions, too. Maybe not the same ones she has, but questions nonetheless.
And I bet there have been times when you’ve questioned God’s plans for your family as well. Or maybe you know a young military wife who is struggling with her latest assignment.
So, what can we do when our children or our friends are struggling?
How to Be an Encourager:
- Pray: It’s important to remind those who are struggling that we can come before the Lord with anything that is on our hearts. When your children or your friends are feeling sad, pray over them. God will speak to us in the depths of our hearts when we bare our souls before Him.
- Remind them that God is for them: I am constantly teaching my children that God has a plan for our family. I tell them of the miracles He has already performed for us and remind them that He will never leave or forsake us. Even when our situation feels difficult, He is there.
- Encourage Bible study: I recently bought my teenager a new Bible study on friendship. And even during the sadness and struggles she is currently enduring, I can find her in her room at 5:45 each morning, poring through the Word of God and writing notes in her Bible study. For that friend who is struggling with her duty assignment, invite her to your church. Help her find a Bible study where she can connect with other like-minded women. The Lord will encourage us as we dig deeper into Scripture. The Word of God should always be a place we turn to in hard times.
- Help them find a mentor: We can all benefit from an older, more mature Jesus-follower in our lives. There are women in my life who are in a different season than I am. I look to them for guidance and wisdom because they have already endured many of the things I am entrenched in right now. We need people to speak life into us – someone who isn’t too far ahead of us in life but who can speak wisdom over us when we feel discouraged.
In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior… They are to teach what is good, so they may encourage the young women… Titus 2:3-4 (HCSB)
Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalm 55:22 (NASB)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Father, thank you for reminding us of your truths today. We know that we don’t have to be fearful or disheartened because You are with us wherever we go. Help us lean into You when we encounter stressful or heartbreaking situations, and remind us of Your plans for our families. Wrap Your arms around us when we feel dejected and lonely. You are a good Father and we love you. Amen.”
Teen Advent Study – For All: A great resource for teen girls by Sacred Holidays
Stuck: The Places We Get Stuck and the God Who Sets Us Free: A study for women by Jennie Allen