A year after those dark days of frustration and understimulation and anxiety, I'm starting my life anew, again.
It's not nearly so bad this time, thank goodness. After all, I have Chris and spend every day realizing just how lucky I am. So no dead-end relationship to speak of.
However, I am new to the area, again. Jobless, again. Social interaction is pointedly lacking, especially with women my age. Again. I'm grateful for my long-distance girlfriends, of course, and rely on the smile in their voices when I call. The warmth of their long-cherished friendship is my lifeline, much like it was a year ago, and I couldn't ask for better. I miss them every day.
Missing people doesn't actually help you get anything done though, or get you established in your new home. I've already learned that -- the hard way. I needed to get out of the apartment, expend some energy, and find new ways to serve that were fitted to my unique gifts and needs.
And, just like that, my new family ward was assigned sister missionaries.
I love Sister Stanford and Sister Hill already. Chris and I signed up to feed them dinner before we'd even met. When they walked in the door, I offered to shake hands. "Oh no Sister Hagmann," they said. "We give hugs here."
What's not to love about that?
In the days since then, I've sat with them at Relief Society functions, attended investigator appointments, and chatted on the phone with these women. We've gushed about weddings and homemade tortillas and the absolute pleasure it is to serve side by side. They're allowing me to love this life I have because they alleviate the expectation that one setting, one person, has to fill all of my needs. As a multi-faceted, dynamic person, a single-faceted, passive life was never going to be enough anyway. And they do so much to make that okay.
Then, of course, there is the radiance of sharing the gospel. Offering answers to questions, contributing my personal witness of Christ, engendering trust of Mormons by the simple fact that I really do know this is true...it's almost too much. I love watching light come into the eyes of the women we're teaching, as new understanding and new ideas envelop their hearts. So many people are genuinely searching for truth. They crave it, knowing their missing something they've wanted their whole lives. And here we are, and here God is, ready to give it to them as they continue asking for it in Christ's name.
He just loves us so much.
It makes me miss Emmilee and Anne. Emmilie served a mission, where I am certain everyone she met adored her for her quirky, gentle sincerity. Anne is in Brazil now, but not for too much longer. Her passionate nature, full of instinctive and energetic charity, will endear her to thousands. And then there's Megan, who was my roommate immediately after her mission and whose genuine interest in others is still an inspiration to me.
We women have such strength to offer each other, and to the kingdom of God.
I'm just grateful I get to be a part of it.