Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Invest in People {Link Up}

By: Jenifer Metzger

Please join me in praying for Shari and Emily this week. Shari's mother-in-law, and Emily's grandmother, passed away. Thank you in advance for praying for the Miller family.

My church is in a military town. In addition to our service men and women being stationed here for a few short years, our military base offers a class that brings them in for just a year to take this class. Then, they move on to their next assignment. These men and women come to our church with their spouses and children. For just a couple of years, even as little as one year, they attend our church, making it their home church. They serve in ministry. We love on them and they love on us. As a children's pastor, their children become my children. We create beautiful friendships with them. Then before we know it, they pack up and move away. It is heart wrenching. This month our church lost 4 families in June, 1 each week of the month, and will lose another later this summer. June should have been declared "no make up month" at my church, for real.

Many people will say, "Why let yourself get attached? Why even bother creating friendships and investing in them when they turn around and leave?" These families have told us that is the mentality of so many of the places they go to. The churches and people know they are leaving so they don't bother connecting with them. Why? We do we let ourselves get attached only to hurt?

Because they need it and so do we. I firmly believe God brings people into our lives. Sometimes, as hard as it is, it is only for a short season. But whether it is for a year or a lifetime, we need to invest in relationships. If you've been around W2W or my blog very long, you've heard me say over and over that we are not called to do this life alone. We are called to walk this life journey with one another.


I hold a great admiration for military families. Not only for serving our country selflessly, but also because these people leave their homes and families and friends and everything familiar to move from place to place to place. They have to get used to new everything every year or so. As most parents, they don't want to just drop their kids off with just anyone, so date nights are rare. When they need help or they are sick or lonely, they just can't call their mom, sister or aunt down the road. Holidays and birthdays are spent without their family close by. It's not something you just get used to or something they like. We had one man who was here from another country. His family had to stay behind. An entire year with absolutely no one. They need us. And the truth is, we need need them too.

9 years ago the military brought a family to our town. They were only there a few months. But in those few short months I connected deeply with a military wife. We became the best of friends and still are to this day. I turn to her for prayer and encouragement. I can't imagine life without her. This past year my husband made an amazing, lifelong best friend with one of our military men, and I made a new best friend with his wife. They are there for us, encourage us, speak life to us and pray for us. And we've made countless other friendships with these families who are here short term. I am eternally grateful for the technology that lets us stay connected through the miles.

This year I have learned a beautiful lesson. To invest in all people. Through losing so many great people, the tears, the hugs, the prayers, the "stay in touch," I have realized there are people right here, people who are not leaving, that we have failed to invest in. Not only do those here temporarily need us, but all people need us. It can be so easy to close ourselves off to people. Our schedules are full, we have zero time for anything, we don't have anything in common, we don't feel we have anything to talk about, and we have different views on many issues, so we close ourselves off. We offer a smile and "good to see you" on Sunday morning. We "like" their new Facebook profile picture. But to really connect, we don't bother. Why are we not opening our home to those in our church, our neighbors and our co-workers? Why are we not available when they need someone to talk to? Why do we say we will pray when the share a prayer request yet the prayer is never spoken? It doesn't take effort to invite someone over for coffee or to go to lunch with someone after church. It doesn't take much to shoot a text message throughout the week asking how they are doing or ask if they need anything.

It's time to connect with people. To stop shutting ourselves off from God's sons and daughters. I would hate to think of the friendships my husband and I would have missed out on had we not connected with people. If I can encourage you of one thing this week, it would be to invest in people. Invite a mom and her kids to the park, while the kids play, talk to her. Invite a family from church over for dinner and fellowship, you don't have to plan games and activities, just talk and get to know each other. Bake cookies for the neighbor, when you take them over, strike up a conversation.

Begin investing in people, they need you and you need them.

And last, may I whisper a request to you? If you have military people in your church, please connect with them. Don't ignore them or shut them out. Invite them in.









It is time for the Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up. We desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories in their comments.

Use hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday

Three rules to this link up:
1. Must be a {Christian} faith post.
2. Link back to W2W somewhere in your post. (Feel free to use our button if you want!)
3. Visit and comment on at least one other blog in the link up.

Woman to Woman Ministries


10 comments:

  1. Praying for the Miller family. May God comfort them and give them His peace during this time. Blessings!

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    1. Joanne, thank you for the prayers, I know Shari and her family will appreciate it. Much love.

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  2. I'm sorry for the Miller's loss. May they experience the God of all comfort! And yes, I've met great friends from a short time exposure. They are worth the investment.

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    1. Thank you for the prayers, Shari and the family will appreciate it. Thank you for sharing your experience on relationships with the short term exposure, yes they are so worth it. God bless.

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  3. Thanks, Jenifer, for letting us know about the Miller family.
    And regarding your good words here today, I was just reading a quote from Deitrich Bonhoeffer that I had copied into my journal: If you fall in love with your vision of community you will destroy community. But if you love the people around you, you will create community wherever you go."

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    1. Michele, thank you for sharing the quote. I love that!

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  4. This is such important advice, Jenifer. Trying to avoid future pain is no excuse to deprive love in the present. I can imagine it's very difficult to want to attach when you know you'll be moving again, but I love how you put it: "Why? Because they need it and so do we." We all need community. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Thank you for stopping in Lisa. God bless!

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  5. What a challenging place to be. Thanks for sharing and being an encouragement - as we all lose people we love along this journey. May the Lord continue to strengthen you!

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