Fourteen years ago today I boarded a plane in Seattle, and 4 1/2 hours later arrived in Atlanta. My dad greeted me at the gate, and when I got to him he gave me a big hug and said, “Welcome home.”
My life in the past 14 years seems to have revolved around moving. Since that day, I have moved 12 times. Yes, 12 times. (And no one in my family is in the military.) Three of those 12 have been in the past 11 months, and in another two weeks we’ll be moving again. You would assume by this point that it would be easy, even down to a science. But it’s not. Moving is one of the biggest stresses in life. Multiply it by a dozen, and it’s no wonder I sometimes feel like I’m going crazy.
I hope no one reads into this the wrong way, but I haven’t felt settled since I left “home,” 14 years ago this very day. I have tried to stick my roots here, in this other side of the country, but each time I feel like it’s finally happening, I am uprooted again. It’s disconcerting. It’s unsettling. And quite frankly, it’s a royal pain you-know-where. (You’ll forgive me if my attitude is a bit more Martha than Mary at this particular moment. “So much to do! So little time! Why are you sitting at His feet when there’s packing to do?!”)
And yes, I’m so sick of talking about moving. I am very ready for a new topic of conversation.
When we moved here to North Carolina, I was eager for God to orchestrate our circumstances so we could really settle in. I believed God would sell our house in Georgia immediately so we could buy something here and hunker in for the long haul. But 11 months later, that hasn’t happened. And in our immediate future is our fourth move in a year. I’m by no means saying we have any plans to leave this place, please don’t misconstrue my heart. I just wonder what on earth God is up to.
I realize asking “why?” is an exercise in futility. Would the “why” really make a difference in my obedience to follow where He leads? Even if it means moving four times? No. He alone knows the end from the beginning. My job, my role, is to participate and follow regardless, going along for the ride.
I’m trying desperately to “elevate my ideas” and practice what I preach — thinking about things that are worthwhile and worthy of praise. I’m trying to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. It’s always easier said than done, of course. So I turn to my Sword, my only offensive weapon in this battle. And I pull out these daggers:
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out —
plans to take care of you, not to abandon you,
plans to give you the future you hope for.”
– Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)
“Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow
a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at
your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.”
“Blessed are those who dwell in
your house, ever singing your praise!”
– Psalm 84:4
“As they were going along the road, someone said to him,
‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him,
‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but
the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
– Luke 9:57-58
We are in good company with One who understands.
I write these verses on my spiral-bound notecards and carry them with me everywhere I go in my sheath. And when I feel overwhelmed, riddled with anxiety, frustrated and defeated, I pull them out to fight, and remind myself that He is for me, not against me.
I wonder, too, if the whole point is to not feel settled. My real home is not on this earth anyway. Perhaps this is a reminder to keep focused on the bigger picture, the Kingdom.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing
right now, and don’t get worked up about what may
or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal
with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
– Matthew 6:34 (MSG)
I could keep asking why, but I think God is telling me that I couldn’t understand it even if I were told. His reasoning and logic is on a level my humanity wasn’t made to comprehend. That’s where this thing called faith comes in.
“‘I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t
the way I work.’ God’s decree. ‘For as the sky soars high
above the earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you
work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.’”
– Isaiah 55:8-9 (MSG)
So I pack and I trust. And I trust and I pack. All the while I’m acutely aware that my attitude still needs work, my faith needs to be increased, and my character needs to be sandpapered. I need to watch my tongue and I need to guard my thoughts. But I celebrate this anniversary reflecting on all God has provided and done over these past 14 years, and blindly trust that the next 14 will be even better.
Even if we have to move 12 more times.
“‘The latter glory of this house will be greater
than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this
place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”
– Haggai 2:9