When I was growing up, I was envious of the people who had one job in one place. There was no chance they would move, and they would be able to stay in their familiar places all of their lives. It used to be like that in the United States. Moving from one place to another was a bigger deal than it is today, and if moving was necessary, coming back to the old place was not possible.
I, on the other hand, measure my life by my moves. When people ask me where I’m from, I start listing out the different states where I’ve lived and the years I lived there. It was a lonely existence especially when I got old enough to realize what I was giving up. I remember hearing about a particular move when I was sixteen. We had only been in Ohio for one year, and the choices were to go to California or back to South Carolina where we had lived for six years before that year. It’s probably obvious what my choice was. I wanted to go back to South Carolina. I had friends there. I was familiar with the school and the area. I think it’s also obvious what we ended up doing. We went to California because the opportunity was better. Another change. Another new place. For my junior year of high school. It was a struggle although I eventually adjusted.
But, the struggle outweighed the adjustment enough that I chose to go back across the country for college. My heart ached for something familiar, and I thought going to college in my old hometown would ease that ache. It didn’t. Instead, I learned my first lesson about change being a constant thing in life. Oh, there were familiar places and familiar people, but we had all changed in the three years I had been gone. Changed and grown up. I can look back now and say it was a good thing, but I wasn’t so sure then because once more, I didn’t have an anchor.
I did though. I just didn’t realize it. God eventually reminded me, and we started having more talking time. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Our Father does. not. change! I hung onto God tightly during my college years, and He brought people into my life who would become mentors and friends some of whom are still good friends all these years later.
The end of college brought more change. I began working and met and married my husband a few years later. Low and behold, the moves continued. First, they were within the same town–into a rental home before our first son was born and into a home of our own when both of our children were small. These moves weren’t such a big deal. We still had our same set of friends, and we went to a lot of the same places. But, then we moved to another city and to another state a few short years later. Those moves were harder. It was the same kind of change I had felt when I moved around as a child. It was weird though. The adjustment was easier. I felt more prepared for the change. It didn’t hurt any less, but it was easier.
I know now that God was preparing me for the moves through my childhood experiences. He was teaching me He would always be there for me even when I acted like I didn’t want Him and even when I wasn’t as close to Him as I am now. He was teaching me how to let go, and I needed to learn how. He was teaching me He was my anchor, and no one else could be. All good lessons to learn.
I’m not jealous of people who get to stay in one place anymore. They have as much to deal with as I’ve had with the constant change in my life. God, not a place, is my anchor, and I wouldn’t want it any different!
May God bless you all today!