Coming Up for Air

I’m coming up for air today and hoping that you are still there! In my last post, I explained our decision to relocate back to the midwest. I said it would be my last post in Arizona, and so it was, but I never expected to take this long to pick up where I left off! So, I left you up in the air!

Plans, both well made and poorly made, instigated some difficult turns followed by God’s gracious intervention via His loving people. I didn’t arrive at our new home in Fort Wayne until July 12, almost a month later than we planned! What happened? Crazy stuff, but we’ve made it.

Right now, I’m reclining in a comfy chair in our new sun room. Gone are the mountains, but I have three walls of windows showcasing a spacious, lusciously green and carefully manicured yard, edged in the far back by a wooded strip.* God’s nature is still speaking to me — glory.

Our recent experiences are also speaking to me. Like water gushing from the rock Moses struck, so flow many lessons from our rocky adventures.  I feel both troubled and blessed. How can that be?

I remember that Dr. Fred Chay wrote in his book, Suffering Successfully (what a title) that people can endure a lot of suffering (paraphrasing), as long as they know there is purpose behind it. While I would not categorize our moving troubles as serious suffering, it was and still carries some significant difficulty. Experience should teach me something, and it becomes more beneficial if I can share those lessons with you. Our troubles may then actually become signposts to others. Here are some bottom line insights, lessons, and questions that I am processing:

  1. Relocating from one area to another reminds me of death. Of separation. Of the transitory nature of life.
  2. Selling a home and having to deal with every item I own reminds me that I have too much stuff. I need to share some of it with others who can make better use of it.
  3. Relocating causes me to appreciate (pay closer attention to) my neighbors and friends who have always “been there”.
  4. Relocating heightens my attention to the natural and historical attributes of each location, the one I’m leaving and the one I’m joining.
  5. Leaving a home where we’ve lived for over ten years causes me to ask: What benefit has our presence offered? What blessing have we been and to whom? What light have we shone? What salt have we scattered? What gospel have we shared? Of what good have we been?
  6. The process of moving reminds me of the importance of order: order in planning, organizing, executing, and placing. As Mom said, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Order makes sanity possible.
  7. The process of moving reminds me of God’s providence: He has a will and a way. Lord, make a path before us and help us to follow it. This is the listen, trust, and “do the next thing” principle.
  8. The process of moving shows what a team Paul and I have become over nearly 38 years of marriage. Gratitude here.
  9. The process of moving has demonstrated what a team we two are a subset of: the body of Christ and our family, and God’s provision through neighbors and friends. More gratitude.
  10. The process has shown Paul and me specific points of friction between the two of us, and how we need to modify in order to oil those spots and improve our dance steps.
  11. Moving close to family alerts us to new dance steps, as we learn our “places” within the family. We are not central to anyone’s happiness or life, but we still can bless meaningfully.
  12.  Relocating is scary, disorienting, and sometimes depressing; however, it is best to see it as a good adventure in which we are to build a whole new life at this latter stage of life so that we can conclude well. Never give up; never give in: keep on keeping on.

As my husband has said for decades, “We are the stewards of the resources God has given us.” Every aspect of life is a stewardship. While money and material goods are a part of stewardship, our lives, our aims, every endeavor is a stewardship of the life God has given us. If my life were my own, I wouldn’t steward it; I’d drive it. But I am not my own. (What a relief.) Moving has increased my awareness of the many aspects of stewarding my God-given life.

My twelve points articulate the obvious. The clutter of life so easily camouflages the obvious. I find that I need to accentuate the obvious so that I deviate less from its wisdom.

What do these points mean in the circumstances of marketing one’s home and making an offer followed by a counter-offer on a far away house, seeking a good moving company and finding a bad one, packing dishes and scratching beloved furniture, and dealing with an RV flat tire when just a few hours from our new destination?

These are pedestrian theology issues. We are Christ-followers, following Christ. Across the USA. From Prescott Valley, Arizona to Fort Wayne, Indiana. His presence is practical. Whether buried in work or coming up for air, in the pacing of life, His practical presence is my need. Consciously and unconsciously, I accept it over and over again.

*(When I get more energy, I’ll post some pictures of our new place.)

Categories: Spiritual Growth | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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