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Well, this week I received the surprise of my life.  Well…maybe not of my life.  Finding out I was pregnant with Jack back in 2003 might actually have that spot, but it was a huge surprise.  Michael told me he had to go to a meeting on Wednesday.  It was a common enough meeting that he actually has on a regular basis so I didn’t really think anything about it.  And I didn’t try to get a hold of him really throughout the day since I thought he was in a meeting, which was probably part of his plan. 😉  Anyway, he came home later than I thought while I was on the phone with my friend Elise.  She hung up with me and told me she’d call me right back so I went to greet Michael.  Then, all of the sudden the doorbell rang.  I looked out the window but didn’t see anybody so I ignored it.  I thought maybe my mind was playing tricks on me.  Jack walked over and stared at me like “Aren’t you going to open it??”  I said to him, “Was that the doorbell?”  He shook his head yes and I opened the door.  It took me a minute to realize that Elise was actually standing in front of me, and then the jumping up and down, screaming and crying began.  I couldn’t believe she was here all the way from Seattle, but I also couldn’t believe they had pulled this surprise off!  Michael has NEVER been able to get a surprise past me so this really almost put me into shock.  Elise is like a sister to me, and it was a much-needed surprise for me.  Having her here has brought some things to my mind over the past couple of days. 

One, I realized that as soon as she walked through my front door, everything felt right and like the world was as it should be.  It made me aware of how important relationships are in our lives.  We are made to be relational people. 

Two, I have not been doing a very good job of being relational since we moved here to tell the truth.  Some of you reading this will find that hard to believe, but I have pulled into my own little hole a bit here in Tyler. 

Three, I have to fix this or I’m never going to really like it here. 

Now, the problem… I’m not really sure how to be relational here.  It seems very hard to make real and deep friendships and relationships here.  In Phoenix, there is a large majority of “transplants”, or people from another place, that live there with no family or little family.  We were all in the same boat so to say.  In Tyler, people feel very set in their ways and friendships to me.  I’m not really sure how to “fit in.”  I know that I am craving the relationships and have not been myself without them.  Having Elise here has made that even more clear to me.  I really just feel lost in how to go about it.  Add that to feeling lost about where we should be serving ministry-wise here and are we in the right place and I’m going back to work and…well…you get the picture.  It’s a bit overwhelming.  I feel lost here.  I knew my place and had my friends and had pretty much made up a “family” there in Phoenix.  Here…well, I feel like I’m in a foreign land a little-even with me being from Texas!  Besides all of that, Tyler has its own set of “ghosts” for me to deal with.  My brother is buried here. There are memories I don’t really want to think about here. 

But I realize God has brought me back to Tyler for a reason.  Probably to face some of those “ghosts” down and rely fully on my wonderful Father through it all.  He is Supreme, and so I trust Him through this.  I also realize He has made me one of action and relationships.  He wants me to make friendships and be relational and start to build a life here.  I know what I am supposed to do and needing to do here.  I’m not sure how to make that happen yet to be honest, but I am going to make myself more available and open to that happening now.  I am going to try to make this “home”-finally.  I am really ready to feel settled and comfortable again. 

I’m wondering how relational you are?  How open are you to new friendships and relationships?  How open is your group of friends?  What do you do to seek out new friendships and make them or do you expect them to just come to you randomly? We’re made to be relational. First and foremost with our Lord and Savior, but that should echo throughout the rest of your life I think.  What does it look like in your life?

Staring up,