A few years ago our we uprooted our family from friends, close relatives, and everything we had ever known for the past two decades and took a cross-country move from the deep south to the west coast. It was during that season of my life that I finally had to rediscover who I really am–and I was shocked to find out that this was the hardest part of moving.
We moved in February–and by that summer I was an emotional wreck.
You see, for so many years I had adapted my life according to the culture and traditions around me. Hey, even the clerks at Publix and Walmart knew me by name!
My family, church friends, homeschool mom friends, relatives, and my children’s grandparents surrounded me every day of my life, and I felt safe. I felt cushioned.
Each year we had our regular Christmas tradition, eating turkey and dressing with cream pie at grandma’s while my kids opened a gazillion presents. Then we loaded up our car and headed back to our own house–only a few steps away right down the street–as we set out to enjoy an evening of hot chocolate under the Christmas tree.
Every year, our Thanksgiving traditions remained the same.
We knew what was happening at our church from month to month. We knew what to expect and we understood our community so well that it literally felt like it had become ingrained in every fiber of our being.
And then we moved.
Once change hits, we suddenly find ourselves in a state of frantically groping around in the dark for something–anything–familiar. For about a year, I didn’t know that it was okay to let go–that it’s okay to let go of the past, to let go of mindsets, to let go of my former community. I didn’t know how to say goodbye without really saying goodbye to everyone I loved. (Cross-country trips aren’t cheap, so I wasn’t sure how often we’d be able to see them each year.)
You see, what I didn’t realize was that the main issue was about me trusting God.
That summer proved to be a pivotal year in my life and my relationships with God and my family as I learned to form new relationships, open my heart to new experiences, and see my gift of family in a different light.
Now my kids were growing up, my husband was adapting to a new job, we were adapting to a new community (and climate!), and I was coping with simultaneously being so far away from my own friends and family while embracing new friendships.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took time. When everything you’ve ever known, from your daily routines to the people in your life, completely shifts from underneath you, it takes some time to recalibrate.
It wasn’t easy, and for a few months during that summer I felt like hopping on a plane to go back to my beloved “home.” I wanted to turn back and escape.
But you know what I realized?
That phrase, “home is where the heart is”…well, it’s true. During that tough season of my life, I learned to cling to God and His Word. I recalled His Word that I was never lonely, that He would never leave me or forsake me. I clung to His promises and began to understand that my home was indeed with Him.
If I could be found resting in the center of His will, resting in His perfectly safe arms, I would always be “home,” no matter where I was in the world.
I eventually learned that it was always about trusting God–in my move, in my new home, and ultimately for my life.
Summers That Changed Us Series
This post was a part of the “Summers That Changed Us” series going on this month at Managing Your Blessings. Be sure to check out other great posts in the series!