I spent three hours this morning driving to the town from which I moved three months ago. As I drove, when I was not answering the question "are we there yet?", my thoughts turned to thoughts of how many times I have moved. I grew up in Connecticut and lived in the same town until I was 18. After that, I lived in Massachusetts, Utah, New Mexico, Indiana, and Iowa. Six states. As I look back, and even as I try to peer into the future, I am still surprised by the number of times I have moved. It is not something I ever anticipated that I would do; I loved the town where I grew up.
The last few times I have moved, I have always thought of God's call to Abram in Genesis 12:1: "Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you." That is how I have felt; I have left people and places that have meant a lot to me and faced the unknown. It is always a challenge to trust God's guidance on the journey.
Today, though, I had some additional thoughts. I thought of the idea of wandering. Unfortunately, the Bible verses that first come to mind are those of Cain's punishment and they do not fit the situation at all, but the next thought was of Israel wandering in the wilderness. They knew what promises God had made, but they hadn't yet experienced the fulfillment of those promises. They also spent time as aliens in land that was not theirs.
I think that is how I feel. I am connected to the different places in which I have lived, yet, I also feel disconnected, too. It is as if I am a wandering alien, still looking for that one place to call home, that one place to be settled.
I don't think I'll get there.
I think that being settled means I will get too comfortable in my ways and my thoughts. Being settled means my growth will be stunted.
Each time I have moved, I have learned new things and have been forced to think in new ways and have grown. Each time I have moved, I have had different jobs, some I loved and some I hated. Each time I have met people who became friends.
If it wasn't for all of these moves and all they entailed, I would likely be a very different person than who I am. And so, I have come to embrace moving and the new opportunities that come with it. I have a sense of something building, like water simmering just before it boils, of my next calling. It is still just out of reach, but the timing doesn't matter to me. I am at peace with trusting that I am following God's guidance and dream for this time of my life.
How about you? Are you someone who has lived in one place or are you someone who has moved multiple times? What do you think and feel about moving? Is it a negative or positive experience for you?