For this week’s Monday Minute, Kelli shares with us some important tips for how to find your people. Whether you are PCSing this summer or not, this is great advice!
Where Do You Find Your People?
by Kelli Baker
In Germany, I exchanged my combat boots for school books and became a full time stay-at-home mother and student. After my husband was not selected for reclass, we were unsure of our next move, but trusted God had ordered our steps. Finally, we were relocated to Carlisle, PA, a very small, tight knit community where the Army War College is located. At 30 weeks pregnant with an almost two-year-old, the loneliness set in. This was my first duty station as a spouse and I felt like an outsider. I was unsure of where I fit in, mainly because we were permanent party and the majority of the people on post were students. They had a built-in community through their designated classes.
The same could not be said for me, or so I thought.
Shortly after my daughter was born, my mother-in-law came to visit. She asked if I would take her to church. I hadn’t attended church for over four years, but I felt the Lord calling me to get back into church. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to go, so I wouldn’t have to go alone. We went to the chapel on post that Sunday morning. There was a flier for the Christmas program of the local Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC), which I had never heard about.
I stepped out on faith, and attended the program with a newborn baby girl and a rambunctious two-year-old son. The women were from all walks of life, ranging from active duty spouses to retired spouses and even retired military women. They welcomed us with open arms.
Over the holidays, PWOC took a break and we went home to spend time with our families. While we were home, it was the most peaceful and laid-back time that my family had experienced in years. Where there had previously been tension, there was a sense of peace among us. Laughter, joy, and love surrounded us this year. It was pretty remarkable, to say the least.
Nearly three weeks back into the new semester of PWOC, my mom took her life. My mom was my very best friend. She and I had grown so close over the years that I had been away due to the military. We talked nearly every day, if not several times a day. I was devastated and honestly didn’t feel close enough to anyone in Carlisle to really depend on during this time of grieving.
GOD knew that.
He provided this safety net of women through PWOC who poured their love into me. God knew what I was going to need and he knew exactly when I would need it. I just had to be vulnerable and allow others to love on me and be God’s hands and feet in my time of need. Finding my place and the people God intended to place along my path required me not only to be vulnerable, but to have courage and trust that God was working all things out.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
While the circumstances you might find yourself in may seem less than perfect, trusting that God sees the bigger picture and has already written your story will allow you to find peace.
When we let our guard down and allow others to see the truth of our struggles and pain, it allows us to build relationships with others who can uplift us and encourage us.
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one body.”
Ephesians 4:25 ESV
Being vulnerable with courage that comes only from our Father allows him to move people into our lives just when we need them.
I found my people, or rather, God placed my people into my life through PWOC at just the right time. Trusting in his plan, having the courage to take the first step, and being vulnerable will allow you the opportunity to find the people God has placed in your life and cultivate real, lasting relationships.
Reflect: Who has God placed in your life during this season? How did you find your people?
Respond: Have courage and take the first step out of your comfort zone so you can watch God move the right people into your life.
Lord, thank you for always showing up right when we need you most. Give us the strength and courage to be vulnerable with those you have placed into our life, so we can deepen our relationships as we walk together with you. Amen.
If you are transitioning this summer, you will find some encouragement from women who’ve been there, done that on our Transition Resources Page.