Moving is hard. If you have ever moved, you know what I am talking about.
Imagine Sarah (from the BIble) just tending to her house when Abraham comes home and says “God has told me to leave here and move to another country. I don’t know where we are going, but I know He has commanded this and I must obey.” I can imagine Sarah’s heart as she hears this and thinks of all that she will be leaving behind. She went with Abraham out of love, commitment, and obedience, but I can imagine she was torn and her heart was wrenched as she left the comfort and security that she had always known.
Or take Moses….yes, he was moving to save the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and fleeing from Pharoah, but after leaving Egypt, even through the miracle of crossing the Red Sea and hearing God’s promises, I am sure he had moments of wishing he could just go back the comfort of Egypt, especially after hearing His people complain day after day about how hard their new lives were.
I, too, understand this. Even knowing God has called us to this beautiful city, there have been many hard moments wishing for the things we left behind in Raleigh such as a great team, wonderful friends, good church, being close to family. Like I mentioned before, in February, we went on a retreat outside of the city to process with counselors and other city staff about our move to the city. Then, my sweet friend, Jenn, sent me this book that she raved about called “After the Boxes are Unpacked” by Susan Miller. Through both of these things, I am learning so much about the process our hearts go through when moving. Having moved before, I had experienced all of these things, but through this move, I have begun to give words to the feelings.
Even despite moving being so hard, it is so very necessary for my heart. Here are the things that I feel like the Lord teaches me through each move:
- While I love having an earthly home, my true home lies in heaven and I will never be “at home” until I get there.
- My security does not come from a house, a church, or even knowing how to navigate my daily life. My security comes only from trusting in God for what lays ahead.
- It takes a lot of faith to face the unknown.
- I will never grow if I always stay in my comfort zone. Spiritual maturity comes in relying on God and God alone to meet my needs.
- Things are just that – things. While there are so many good memories associated with the rocking chair in my baby’s room, the toys my kids play with daily, and even my car, they are just things and they should not be held too tightly.
- I choose how I will respond. While its okay to cry, grieve, and miss the things I left behind, I choose to look ahead and walk with God with a positive ahead and being thankful for what He is teaching me or I choose to walk away from God.
- When EVERYTHING around me feels like sinking sand, God’s promises remain. He has been faithful to me in the past and He will continue to be faithful because that is who He is.
- I have to have faith God is working through every detail of my move and relocation. Even now, with my kids placed in two different schools for the fall and having to wait for the process to work itself out, God is at work and is in control.
Susan Miller, in her book titled above, says that there are steps of grieving that movers experience – denial, anger, depression and sadness, and finally, acceptance. I do not know that I have experienced denial and anger with this move as much, but the last few months have definitely been spent in depression and sadness. While there are bouts of that still for me, I mostly feel I have moved to acceptance.
I am learning to love my subway commute or my long walk to get to the store as I get a chance to pray and listen to worship music. I am learning to love that on the weekends, there are farmers markets and street fairs just a few steps outside my apartment door. I am learning to love that although I have to go downstairs to do my laundry and pay every time, I get it done in one big chunk rather than doing multiple loads every day. I am learning to love hearing all the different stories of people that live here and how they and their families came to live un the US. I am learning to love seeing how God is so evidently working in this city, even though it is so dark and so easy to believe otherwise. I am learning that although moving is hard and there is still so much I miss from what I left behind, Jesus is worthy of my trust and I can have hope for what lies ahead.