By Amy Larsen
It’s no secret I picked Abiding Presence because of the opportunity to become part of a quilting group – a detail I found on the church website when I was searching for churches before we moved here from El Paso in July 2013. My husband Chris is in the Army and was selected for a training program in San Antonio. I was excited about moving to San Antonio but nervous about the road ahead.
I had never been part of a quilting group before; apparently it’s not something someone my age typically does. I make baby quilts and Halloween costumes for my kids, but I am a self-taught crafter and typically sew alone. I don’t know why I was so adamant about joining a quilting group. Maybe I was looking for a non-threatening social circle. I knew joining some kind of group would be good to help with the move and transitions. We had just lost our infant son, Adam, and I needed a reason to get me out of the house. The couch is a nice, safe place during the grief process but not necessarily the healthiest choice. After we moved to San Antonio it was tough to meet new people and make friends. I wanted to grieve privately and I wasn’t ready to tell my story right away.
In a determined first step, I joined the quilting group right after we moved here. The group welcomed me AND my children (Carlee age 5 and James age 2 ½ at the time) with open arms. They were loving and supportive without knowing my story. During the quilting time, I could be quiet and listen and be around great women without having to talk or be too “social.” In between piecing, pinning, and sewing they would tell their stories and I soon learned these women had experienced hurt and grief as well. I realize why people attend support groups for different challenges; it’s easier to share and be open when the people you are talking to have been through similar situations. This group of women have raised children (buried children) had occupations, been/are married, etc. And we’ve become family.
In life, like sewing, I don’t have it all figured out, but I’ve learned a lot in the last couple years. As we piece and pin and sew, what seem to be scraps come together in a beautiful relationship of colors and shapes in a life and love giving quilt.