I grew up in the military as an Army BRAT. We moved a lot. Now, after 22 years as a military spouse, I can honestly say that I have never known what it feels like to not have a new destination on the horizon. It is just part of my story. I am learning (finally) to be ok with that. But I haven’t always been.
Like many of you (I’m sure), I am an efficient packer and I know all the tricks to taking my home apart and putting it all back together lickety-split. I know how it all fits together, and I am skilled at making a home in just about any space we happen to find.
I am a “nester.” Each space and room in my home is deeply intentional and each has sweet memories that I cherish. So, it doesn’t seem to matter how many times I do it or how good I am at it, the process always shakes and unravels me. Every time.
Between the people I quickly came to love and the place we made a sanctuary, I never get used to the jarring sensation that leaving them behind gives me. And every time we pull away, I have to remember the things that will never change.
There are things that anchor my soul that the military can’t unsettle.
These Truths pull me back toward perspective and solid ground. I know who holds my family, my hopes and dreams, and my heart in the palm of His loving and safe hand. I remind myself that He is who He says He is and that His plans and purposes, love and affection, for me and my family are never insecure.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I remind myself, as I drive away, that He is trustworthy and is faithful to complete the good work He has started in each of us. In me, in my family, and in each person and ministry I leave behind. Leaning heavily back into the reassurance of His arms, I am comforted yet again and reminded that there is work still to do for His Kingdom and His Great Name. If He is calling us to a different space, there is still work to be done.
As I stood years ago, declaring with a sincere heart, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” looking again at yet another transition, I am standing to declare it still.
Home is no longer contained in an address, but in a community of people whom I have come to deeply love.
They are my people. People are what make a home “home” for me now. If the Lord has seen fit to move me again, there must be more souls I am called to love. Yeah…I’m ok with that.
So, if you are reading this today and you are finding yourself facing yet another transition or move, let me challenge you to shift your focus a bit. Lean forward into His good plans for you, dear one, that have yet to unfold. He is inviting you to join Him in His story of love and redemption for a people group that desperately need what you’ve got.
And because of His tender mercy and goodness, I’m wagering that He has something beautiful for you there, too.
Thank Him for what He has given you in this place that you have come to love. Then go on ahead and thank Him for what He has yet to give. It’s gonna be good, because He is good.
In just a few weeks, I will pack up our home for the 17th time. Yes, I have felt the familiar tightening of the chest as I anticipate all that it will mean and feel. But this past weekend, God gave me an extravagant gift. Several families that we have loved and celebrated life alongside in previous duty stations all came to visit and share a meal in our home. Stories were regaled and laughter was full and loud as we spent precious time together again.
As I looked across the room at my husband and caught his eye, we both couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. This. The sweetness of all those dear faces and hearts gathered together again.
I am confident that Heaven will feel a bit like that. It was a good reminder that we have a family and a home that is spread all over the globe. It is an extravagant gift indeed.
The song I want to share with you today is an oldie-but-goodie. It is “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful,” (a newer version) featuring Melissa How and Jesus Culture. I may be dating myself, but this song was honestly one of the first songs that I remember singing with a body of believers soon after accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, almost 26 years ago. It will always remind me of the first group of people who opened wide their arms for me and welcomed me “home.”
With joy for the journey,