In our first 8 years of marriage, David and I moved 7 times. 7 times in 8 years!! (Thankfully, the last 8 years we’ve stayed in one place. Praise Jesus!) Every time was hard and presented its own set of challenges. There is a good reason why “change in living situation” is high up on most stressful life event scales. Whether you move across town or across the country, moving stinks. There’s just something about taking the entire contents of your life, packing them up, moving them to a new spot and unpacking them in a new place that can wreck you. It’s the very definition of upheaval. That’s not even accounting for the other changes involved in moving- new job, new neighborhood, new friends, new church, etc. etc. etc.
Every time we’ve moved, we’ve felt called to where we were going oftentimes not knowing completely what would be waiting for us on the other end. When we were first married, we made the big move from College Station, TX to Fort Worth for David to begin his career and for me to begin the first step in God calling me into ministry- seminary. Talk about stressful! We were newly married and new college graduates beginning our new careers and new studies. In the midst of the stress and upheaval, we had to trust that we heard God clearly and we had to be brave.
Our next major move was cross-country to Atlanta. On the surface, we were following the call of David’s career, but in hindsight, we can see that God was calling us to Atlanta because He was calling us to a new life and a new plan. Describing all the ways that we can now see God’s hand in moving us here would take more words than a typical blog post can afford. But, suffice it to say, God had a big plan and we had to step out in big faith. It is so hard to leave your family, your country (and yes, I said country because for us Texans, Texas is a different country), your friends and your community. But, we had to trust God to make us brave.
When I think of big moves from a Biblical viewpoint, I think of Abraham and Sarah. In Genesis 12, God says to Abraham, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land I will show you.” (vs. 1, ESV) God didn’t say to Abraham, “Here’s a picture of your new house and your new friends and your new land. Isn’t it beautiful?! Look at all I will give you and at all the blessings you will receive. Here are all the intricate details of your new home. Now, don’t you want to go?” Nope. He says, “Obey me and then I will show you what I have in store. I promise you blessing (vs. 2) but I’m not giving you all the details right now. You just have to trust me. Be brave. I am with you.”
God calls all of us to new things, whether large or small, continuously throughout our life here on earth. And, most of the time the path is fuzzy and the endpoint is nowhere in sight. We have to remember that when God calls us to “move”, He always promises to be with us even if He doesn’t plan to give us details. As you read Abraham’s story, you see how often God appears to him, guiding and redirecting him, as He leads him into new life. God wants to do that for us, too. Our end of the deal is to obey and to bravely trust that He will be with us on the fuzzy path, guiding our every step.
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (The Message)