It was about this time in 2011 when everybody in our little family – except for HH – was individually planning to move in the next six months. I would be leaving Our Nation’s Capital to join HH in Chicagoland. FBC would be graduating from college to return to Our Nation’s Capital. SBC would be moving from one dorm to another (but didn’t know where) and TBC would be moving from a dorm to an apartment (but didn’t know where.)
And now, nine years later we continue to move: SBC to a new apartment last month, TS (who is now part of our family) from SC to VA by way of CT, and me from one apartment to another TODAY. I’m preparing a place for me and HH to live in Charlotte when he arrives in a few months. (We’ll have a guest room!)
I loved living in one town for the first 23 years of my life. It brought stability and comfort and I remember – even as a young child – being grateful that my family stayed in Chapel Hill while so many of my friends moved in and out. Our children appreciated growing up in Our Nation’s Capital while – again – so many of their friends moved in and out.
Some of us move from one home to another and some of us don’t. I have family members who’ve lived in the same home for over sixty years. I have clergy colleagues who’ve followed God’s call to multiple states through their professional ministry and I have other clergy colleagues who have stayed within a specific geographic area to serve multiple calls in the same general vicinity.
It’s easier to Kondo your closets when you move every few years. It’s also easier to let go of things and travel more lightly. Every move is bittersweet in that we are losing something and gaining something with every new address.
Whether we stay in the same house where we were born or move every year (hello military families) the truth is that every single one of us is called to move in some way:
- To move in terms of the way we see the world.
- To move in terms of our spiritual maturity.
- To move in terms of becoming more and more like the people we were created to be.
If you happen to be part of a Judeo-Christian faith tradition, moving is our thing:
Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’
Following the God who made us is not for the fainthearted. God will take us where we didn’t think we’d ever go – and I’m not just talking about geographic locations.
Today I’m moving from one apartment to another in the same building. Easy, right? Yes, it will be. It’s an easy move because God knows that my capacity to move spiritually and relationally and professionally can be exhausting. I’m grateful for a God who knows me well enough to help me discern that moving from the 5th floor to the 4th floor is about all I can handle right now.
Presidents move too (both geographically and in their capacity to be noble servants, God-willing) and President’s Day is an excellent day to start afresh in a new place.
May you find yourself starting afresh as the days get longer.
Image from Two Men and a Truck in St. Louis where I’ve never lived.