Learning to Hug

Learning to Hug

Hugging is not my strong point. I’m not really that good at it and I rarely initiate, but I have come to cherish them.

I am learning to let people into the bubble where I live.

I am independent as many military women are, sure we can stand on our own because we have been asked to do so many times. Moving our families, recreating homes, building unity and stability, all things we have done because we feel it is necessary.

Yet, I believe God has a different plan.

Community is hard to build, especially when your life is nomadic. Trusting other people with your things, with your family and with your heart is not an easy thing to do. We get better at it, I believe or maybe not. Investing in other people, getting attached, and then either they leave or you do – it gets a bit old after a while. It makes you wonder if it’s worth it to do it again.

It does me. But it’s also what God has called me to do.

Through my time in this military world, God has blessed me over and over with people I need in my life at just the time I need them. Some are extroverted and excited, some servant-hearted and loving, some rescuers by nature, and some that possess a tough love that challenges me to seek the One with my whole heart again. All of them love me in different ways for different seasons and all brought to my world at the right time for what the Lord was doing in me. He uses them to teach me more about Him.

But I have to actually let them into my world.


My husband was deployed, his grandfather passed away, and I took the kids to be with his family. Deployments are never fun, but times like this make them “less fun.” It was a long week as we celebrated the life of my husband’s grandfather and worked through lots of details. The kids and I headed home.

When we got to our house and walked in the door, my house was clean. It was straightened when I left. But when we came home, the bathrooms were clean, the laundry was done, clean sheets were on the bed, and the floors were all vacuumed, swept and mopped. I know, it shocked me too.

My friend, one I had let in my world, had been there while we were gone. It was a blessing I will not forget, but also one the Lord used. I was tired of “letting people in” to start all over again a couple of years down the road. I bravely stepped out and God taught me to trust Him. He was once again using people to teach me about His love and provision in my life.

But she would never have come in if I had not given her a key.

Keys to my house and keys to my heart, I had to give her both. I had to be vulnerable and open, much like when people want to hug me. I had to take the chance of hurting. If I hadn’t, I would have missed many blessings along the way. God knew what I needed and this nomadic life is not a surprise to Him. He has used it to cross my path with some of these most amazing people, those who have poured into me, making me more like Jesus tomorrow than I am today.

I need those people, and ideally they need me too.

I am pretty sure I have been blessed far more than I have blessed others. Each move, each new location, I go looking now. Not for a band of groupies or a huge gang of folks to hang out with, but those people God intentionally puts in my path for a season or for a lifetime. He has them planned out long before I show up.

He also has folks that He would have me to impact as well.

So today, I challenge you to go looking, be vulnerable.

Who has God put in your path for this season? Who continues to impact you and how can you pour into others?

And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25 not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)





**This post is part of the #MondayminutewithGod over at Planting Roots!


  1. Thanks for not taking ‘ the key’ with you when you left. If you would just Come Back!! I would clean your house anytime again. Miss you so ? and a hug

    • You have no idea how much I miss having you down the street. You are welcome to my house key any day! And you forever have the key to my heart. Friends for life…for real. You’re stuck.

  2. Gwen Chandler says:

    What a great article today! I have felt all those things as well! I was so very thankful for all the people that I have met throughout my years being involved with the military. God has stretched me through each move but has blessed me with relationships that are rich beyond measure! Thank you for reminding me today of all that God has done to encourage me that relationships are a treasure!

    • It’s a good reminder for me too, Gwen, especially in those times when I’m not so sure I want to try it again. I could not imagine my life without so many of the people God has blessed me with along the way. So many times, remembering His faithfulness gives me courage and faith in today.

  3. My husband has been retired from the military for eight years and before that he had a job that took us out of the normal military life- so, we’ve been living as “civilians” for almost 15 years. And I just have to tell you that it’s not the same on the outside. I’m so thankful for our life in the military and those friends who helped when Mike was away–which was always when something major happened. Yes, let them in. Give those God friends the key to your heart and house, but carry on the tradition when you’re on the other side. Thanks for a great post!

    • Andy – as my hubby gets closer to retirement we have started to talk about what life will look like then. We have been so blessed by opportunities to meet so many people, many friends becoming family. Good word to carry on the tradition.

  4. Love, love, love this. What a sweet blessing when you returned home, yet having a friend who loves you like this is the better blessing.

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