I don’t have any friends here in Florida. Except Rasmus of course. It’s been a great couple of months – we’ve done so much and I’ve enjoyed so many moments. But there have been a thousand other moments when I’ve been terribly homesick for all my friends back in Brussels. When I’ve really wanted to head out to my girl’s bible study, meet up with Shannon and Nada for lunch, keep Jenna company while she’s on bedrest, roadtrip to Paris for Bastille Day with the group from church, spend a sunny evening on Marissa’s terrace, and so much more.
Facebook, while a blessing for being able to keep in touch with everyone, is also a curse because you get to hear and see all the great things you are missing out on. And yes, I know I am in Florida. But guys, I miss you!
But I want to tell you about my one weekly appointment that has made all the difference to being here.
To tell the story I have to go back to a week before we left for Florida. Jenna and Nada and I were meeting for lunch at a Lebanese cafe by Merode. Nada was, of course, late. (I love you but it’s true!) And it was raining and there was as yet no space in the cafe – Jenna and I were relying on Nada’s connections to get us a table! So we headed next door to the Christian bookstore for a few minutes browsing time. I spotted on the shelf Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word which Nada had been recommending to me for about a year. Yes, I was about to fly across the world and yet another book in my luggage would not be helping the weight allowance situation, but I decided to buy it anyway.
Skip to ten days later, when Rasmus and I are walking in the door of a local church that we’d found through google and decided looked the least weird of all the other American church websites. The welcome is followed by the usual church announcements (kids holiday club, summer mission trips, so-and-so had a baby…) and then I hear them saying “Our summer bible study for women will be starting this Thursday evening for six weeks and is on Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word…”
This may just seem like a funny coincidence, but I don’t think I’ve ever paid attention quicker. Sometimes Someone is trying to tell you something, and decides to make it clear enough that you won’t possibly miss it.
I promptly signed up, and have spent the last six Tuesday evenings driving out to the church to sit with a bunch of American woman to discuss this book I had brought all the way from Belgium with me. It has been wonderful. Not just because the book is fantastic and really is impacting me. But also because for two hours each week I have been somewhere people know my name and say they are pleased to see me again and appreciate my comments.
It reminded me how important it is to be known by name. Holidays are fun, and new places are exciting. But nothing beats someone saying “Hi Fiona, good to see you! How was your week?”