- Do you ever move to a new place and wonder if you will fit in?
- If you will be accepted into a group where you feel comfortable and accepted?
- Or if you will regret having moved and wish you hadn’t left your past behind?
These were some of the thoughts we had as we left the home where we lived for most of the last 25 years.
We were leaving a church where my husband served as pastor until he retired about 10 years ago. Many of those people were wrapped around our hearts.
The last day, as we were loading the truck, one of our most encouraging ladies who is now 90, came out to our house to say good-bye. She thanked my husband for his ministry to her and her husband, who is now with the Lord. During those years it was hard to tell which of us ministered the most to the other. They were always extremely encouraging in healthy ways!
And then there were the people with whom I had worked for the last 5 years. I really enjoyed these ladies a lot. They had become friends at work. We worked hard together during our 3-11 shift. We still managed to find time to laugh and get to know each other a little too. I knew I would miss them as well. We came together during that 8 hour period to work hard in order to help care for people who were recovering and rehabilitating from difficult surgeries or diseases. The camaraderie that goes with that is difficult to walk away from.
What if this doesn’t work out well?
What if, when we got to Alabama, things weren’t as great as we hoped? Yes, we had children and grandchildren there.
- But what if things didn’t work out?
- What if the church we thought we would attend wasn’t a good fit for us?
- What if it turned out to be one huge mistake?
Those thoughts often plagued me and I would brush them away like a cobweb in the corner of a dark room.
How could I answer those questions? They seemed to come from that dark fearful place…the Land of What-If.
Yes, it would have been nice to be able to answer those questions with certainty, but honestly, until we actually moved, there was no way to know the answers to most of the questions that tried to fill our hearts with fear…and paralyze us into inactivity. We had to just do it!
So with the sale of the house finished and the laborious task of packing done, we got into the truck and car and headed east. If we had any doubt about whether we should move, the incredibly rapid sale of the house answered those questions.
Yes, the time had come to move! With 4 weeks to finish packing and find a place to rent (that took me a week!), it was a bit crazy.
It is becoming Sweet Home Alabama…as the license plate says
It is now almost 4 months later. I have been in a ladies’ study this summer where I have gotten to know a number of delightful ladies of different ages. I have also been stimulated in some areas of growth…always a good thing. Together, Ron and I have been in a Sunday Seminar (that’s what the adult Sunday morning classes are called in this church) that was one of the best Old Testament Surveys I have ever taken! It was a survey blended with practical application…not an easy thing to do.
The preaching in the worship service? Constantly points us to Christ and the grace he has shown to us…and how it works out in daily life! SO helpful to me, as well as encouraging.
The icing on the cake?
And the icing on the cake? We live near one of our daughters and her family. We are getting to know 2 of our grandchildren very well. During the summer we helped some with their child care. During the school year we are doing some child care, not a lot. Their parents’ schedules allow for them to be involved more during the school year.
We are loving all of it! We are starting to feel like normal people again!
And the church? We attended a leadership meeting last night for any who are training to be church leaders or who think they will want to be in the future…or who just want to know more about the church. It helped us learn a little more about the “DNA” of the church. I think we’ll fit in well. I don’t know where yet, but I think it is a good fit.
Enjoying GOD’s good providence
I often struggle with GOD’s sovereighty and His providence when hard times come. For sure, moving is no picnic. I know that hard times will come even here…but this is a providence and sovereignty I’m enjoying for now.
Learning to soak in the grace of GOD…not sit and soak mind you!… and learn how it affects the way I reach out to others, how I relate to others? That has to be a good thing!
Finding ways to serve that may even build on ways I have served in the past will be great. But I think I’ll also be learning some new ways as well.