Home Sweet Hoyleton: We Are Family

Last week I was taught something about this sweet little town that I now call my home. The town takes care of each other. This week there was a lot of hurt in our town. There is a sweet woman in our town who is dearly love who has been diagnosed with cancer. All week long all anyone can talk about is how they can't get her out of their head. Not just the people who are her age or spend time with her on a regular basis, no everyone has been asking about her. We have been praying, crying, talking fondly of her, worrying about her loved ones for her, and we have been discussing how we can help. Some people may see our talking of one another's issues as gossip, it is concern. It is compassion. It is love.

The people of our community are tight knit. There are many jokes that float around about how the family tree in Hoyleton doesn't have too many branches. I joke about how one day someone will find me in my basement with my hair standing on end and crazy eyes, staring at a wall full of pictures connected by strings trying to figure out how everyone is connected. Many people in our town are, yes, related by blood. However, there are many people who aren't. I am not connected by blood in any way to this small community, but that doesn't change the level of love and care they offer myself and my family. Let me tell you though, I have seen how these people can work and they love their own something fierce. We recently had a fundraiser for a youth of ours who is having some health difficulties. The fundraiser was not put together by her blood relatives but by friends of her parents and friends of hers, teenagers. They saw a need and they acted. The fundraiser was extremely successful. We had another woman in our congregation recently die of cancer. I have never seen people tend to someone on hospice like our people did. The chime choir, of which she was a member, had a schedule of when each person would make contact with her by calling her or visiting her on a daily basis. Friends were visiting her constantly and when she passed there was sadness but also relief knowing she was not in pain any longer. Her friends hurt so much watching her hurt. They would come back from the nursing home and tell me how she was doing with tears in their eyes. They cared so deeply. I have never seen a group of people love like that.

And then there is their caring for me. After Zach was born I hit a pretty rough patch. I had a baby and 3 weeks later had my gallbladder out. My doctor at one point told me that my entire body was inflamed. I developed post-partum anxiety. I would have anxiety attacks that made me think that I was having a stroke or a heart attack. It was unreal. I had never had these before. What did this community do? They made meals for my family 3 nights a week for an entire month. They sat with me during church because I was afraid to be alone and they let me cry when I was so full of anxiety and scared that I was a bad mom or losing my mind. They had known me less than a year and nothing stopped them from going all in on this seemingly crazy woman. Also, they take care of my kids like they are their own. I watch them hold my kids and get teary eyed all the time.

Now, I'm not saying that the people of Hoyleton are without their thoughts and squabbles.  In my 31 years of life, I've also noticed that few families get get along 100 percent of the time. They have disagreements and people who don't care for one another's company too. That's life. However, I have also not lived in a community with such forgiving and loving people as the people that surround me here.
So when you look on the map and see a little town of 550, don't underestimate it. You could be stumbling upon one of the greatest communities you'll ever know. Don't write it off because it's 35 minutes from Target. You never know the possibilities something might hold. Two years ago, my husband received a phone call with an offer to move to this wonderful little town and I am so glad we did. I was terrified. I have learned so much about myself, about others and about what love through Christ really looks like. I have had so much fun and I can't wait to make more memories with the people of this lovely little town.
All that being said, please pray for the family that is our little town, like I mentioned above, we have families that are hurting daily and like everyone, need prayers.
That's all for now. God is good.
P.S. Hoyleton, thanks for making us part of your family.

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