“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” Psalm 18:32
There are days you wake up and you are completely aware that the inevitable is going to happen. That performance appraisal, the teacher conference, or those loads of laundry that must get done. Whether the task at hand excites or exhausts, you wake to the knowledge that this, today, is your reality.
For me, today is that day.
What started as an arbitrary date on the calendar, has now inched forward in to the realm of inevitability. We are a military family, so we expect a move to occur every two or three years. We rely on it, most times look forward to it, and usually embrace it.
But this time is different.
This time, we dug in deep and settled comfortably on the shores of the Florida coast. For the first time in almost twenty years, we had family mere miles away. We celebrated holidays and birthdays, attended graduations, and spent time together for absolutely no reason at all.
We had schools that were completely compatible to our goals and desires for our children; my husband had a job that was satisfying and good for the family (no deployments); we had a circle of friends that lived and shared life together.
Now, this going all in doesn’t seem like much fun.
Wouldn’t it have been easier to stand aloof on the outskirts of community, unengaged and ready to skip town as soon as orders were cut?
Wouldn’t it have been easier to not expect my sister to be around the corner any time I needed her, when I knew all along it was temporary?
Surely it would have been easier to walk away had we not engaged to the level we did, right????
Although these questions plague my sleep, I am still one hundred percent confident we lived well these four years, and we lived the way we were meant to live; fully engaged, fully in relationship, refusing to live under the shadow of lack of permanence.
We knew what we were doing.
We knew it was going to hurt when we left.
We knew the sting a band aid leaves when you rip it off your skin.
We knew, but it was worth it.
Every lump in my throat at the thought of leaving, is worth it. The Lord was and is in it. He was in the friendships, the family, the schools, the ministry, the job.
And He is in the middle of the goodbye.
When you are standing in the middle of His will, the pain always has purpose.
Perhaps it is for you to be a comfort to those who are facing the same hurts and pain you recently faced.
Perhaps it is a time for you to rekindle your relationship with the Lord, the One relationship that will not fail you, the One that goes before and behind you, the One that never leaves you.
So I wonder, how do you dig up firm roots without causing some stress to the plant?
The answer is you don’t. You will surely cause some trauma when relocating a plant.
But, if done correctly, that plant will be nourished by the new soil, the new space, and spread its roots deep into that rich goodness.
A new growth will happen, taking the nourishment from the previous soil and making the plant stronger because of the old, in to the new.
It is a temptation to take this hurt and loss and carry it to our next home. To stand back and refuse others access to our safe little circle of influence.
We guard our hearts against this. Fight against it with all our might. Because we know there is a beauty to be found wherever God leads.
Before our move, we prepare. We intentionally focus on the positives, we search them out as if in a treasure hunt for lost gold. We build collages and tape little nuggets of information about our new location to that board. We make lists of places we would like to visit and interesting facts about our new home. And little by little excitement overtakes our sadness.
Because, after all, it is inevitable. Time will not stand still, orders will not keep us here, and that moving van will show up on our doorstep.
I, for one, don’t want to miss the next adventure because we were looking back.
What is inevitable today in your life? Ask the Lord for the strength and resolve to move well through whatever it is you are facing today.
“God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things.” (2 Corinthians 1:4, 6 NLT)