We moved a lot when I was growing up. We lived in a few places for a number of years and other places for mere months.
I envied the families that had lived in one location for generations and the kids who had grown up in one house and with the same set of friends. I did not enjoy being the “new girl” and making friends knowing that I would eventually say goodbye. I couldn’t share in the “remember when” stories and would sit awkwardly by trying to figure out how to be a part of the conversation. I didn’t appreciate the feeling that I never really belonged to any one place.
My parents encouraged me to trust God’s plan. They said I would see the blessings when I stopped comparing and longing for the unattainable. It took many years of God working on my heart for me to realize that they were right.
As an adult, I now appreciate the many incredible experiences that I would have never known living in one place. I have skied the slopes of Quebec, swam in piranha infested waters, slept in the blackness of the Amazon jungle, walked the white beaches of the Caribbean, gazed at the Southern cross glistening in the dark sky, and can appreciate the wonders and challenges of living in the midst of a different culture and people group. I am grateful to have crossed paths with many amazing individuals and for the way their lives deeply impacted mine.
I married a man whose story is different from my own. He lived in one area throughout his life just as generations before him. The roots go deep. Our stories merged to become one and relished several years growing roots alongside his.
His hometown was the longest I had ever lived in one place. It was a good area and there were many benefits of living here. I never wanted to become so comfortable in one spot that I would resist the idea of God calling us elsewhere. But I did. I loved our home, neighbors, family, friends, and the places we frequented together.
Then God called us elsewhere. We packed up our belongings and, once again, I began planting roots in a new place. As our time here has passed, my appreciation for our new home has grown greatly.
But I must remember that this place… is just a place. Our house… is just a house. Everything is temporary in this life. Contemplating on those facts make me realize that moving as a child was a gift in that it prepared me to live in transition. This little corner of our world – be it in this exact location or somewhere else in the future- is one step towards our forever home. Eternity with Him; that is home.
I will enjoy where God has placed us, but also embrace the infectious longing for my real home. I can’t wait to settle there forever.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
John 14: 1-3