I was knee deep in change when I picked up Kristen‘s book.

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{Holley, Kristen, me.}

Our family was facing a cross-roads of jobs, relocation, new schools, new friends and ALL THE FEELINGS that go with that level of change.

While we were only moving an hour away from the neighborhood we’d lived in for the last seven years, we were still moving an hour away from the neighborhood we’d lived in for the past seven years. You know?

It meant good-bye to everything familiar. Everything that had defined my kids’ sports, friendships, learning, church and community up until that point. They didn’t know anything outside of that pool of familiar.

It was daunting to pack up everything we’d known and start over.

On the last day of school my sons got in the car and my older one held his hand tenderly to his chest and told me, “I’m just so sad.” And I looked over at him as we passed all the rows of waving teachers and friends and people and places that have been his whole world for the last seven years and I ached with him.

As I watched those blue eyes well up behind his glasses I wanted to reach over and swat away the pain and tell him that everything’s gonna be fine and he’ll find so many new friends, that one day he won’t even remember his sadness.

But instead I cried too. And together we remembered that crying honors the friendships that have been so dear to us.

Tears say, “I was loved and I loved you.” Tears testify to the deep, daily glory of ordinary, around-the-corner friendship. The kind of friendship that makes the ordinary extraordinary.

Three months later and I’m still grieving the distance between all of us and those every-day, just-around-the-corner friendships.

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So when I got to chapter three and Kristen‘s experienced, tender permission to, “Don’t Just Get Over It” I may have exhaled my tears and inhaled the rest of the book.

Kristen doesn’t minimize the pain, fear or worry that comes with change. Like the dear friend that she is, she simply sits in the midst of it with you until you are ready to see the good that God had always planned for you.

This book isn’t just one more way to get over life’s hardest changes, but a tender companion to help you get through them.

I woke up this morning missing the people from my old neighborhood something fierce.

But I poured a bowl of cereal and I thumbed through Kristen’s reminders that, “time doesn’t heal all wounds. Time with the Healer does.”

And I told my Father how much I missed them – all the women who used to show up at the back door of the school for pick up, at the playgrounds, on the stands at the little league fields. I told Him how much I missed their laughter and their familiar routines and how they would bump into us at the grocery store with their own littles in tow.

Sometimes just saying it out loud is a kind of gentleness with yourself, giving yourself time to mourn.

Distance, new jobs, new houses, new classrooms, new pews.

These things can chafe as much as we might have wanted them. Even worse if we never asked for them.

So I walk with my boys to the bus stop and try to start learning the names of their new friends, and their friends’ moms. We say them out loud together.

And they’re starting to sound familiar.

 

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You can learn more about Kristen and her new book at GirlMeetsChange.com. If you find yourself at a cross-roads in the middle of a change – little or  big – I so hope you’ll gift yourself a copy of Kristen’s book. She’s a true friend. She’s kind and patient and overly generous to all of us. And as a military mama she’s lived more than half her life in between changes. She gets it. She really does.

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