It’s that time again: end of summer. New jobs, back to school, just got married. It means people are moving. A lot of change going on. I love moving, starting new things and meeting new people. I moved for the first time when I was 2 years old; then I moved again at ages 15, 18, 23, 25, 26 and now 28. This list doesn’t include the shorter moves I’ve made.
As a single woman, moving has always been easy, but this time it’s hard. Although I have no doubt that this is what I need to do and I am excited about where God is taking me, I am beginning to want some stability. It almost feels like I haven’t developed roots in one place since I became an adult. Therefore, I have been reminded of these things:
1. Don’t shrink back. It’s easy to shrink back from the place where you’re leaving. You begin to think, I’ll be leaving here soon. So you slowly begin to pull away from people and activities. You start feeling like you are not part of anything anymore. It can lead to loneliness and depression. Can you tell that I have been here? God reminds me of Hebrews 10:38. “But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him” (NIV). Don’t shrink back; stay connected.
2. Give yourself immediately to your new environment. Upon arrival to a new environment, I’m tempted to think, I’m new here, so I’ll get acquainted with everything before I jump into anything. This could be in terms of serving others, being yourself, and building relationships. If you don’t give immediately, you may end up waiting until the time for your next move; then you realize, I didn’t build any deep friendships. That leads to regret. So give immediately when you get to your new location.
3. Forgive people who don’t understand. Sadly, many of us don’t know how to say goodbye. We don’t know how to be supportive when we know we will miss our friends. There was a time I had to move suddenly. I knew two weeks before I had to take the flight. Some of my friends I worked with were mad. One threatened me to come back in a short time and told me that if I didn’t, I will not be obeying God. Another didn’t speak to me until I left. I was bitter for a few months afterward, but I’ve learned to forgive and not be angry at them for not understanding. Their hurt is evidence that I was loved. Will you not go where God is leading you because of your relationships?
4. Keep in touch. Relationships are work, and if you don’t make the effort, they won’t last. I am guilty of letting a lot of my relationships fade away because I failed to keep in touch. Life gets busy that we all get so caught up, and we forget what is really important. As much as you have to go where God is leading you, you can still stay in touch with your friends. Thank God for technology that has made that much easier today.
5. Realize what role God wants you to fulfill in your new environment. Isaiah 55:8-9 says God’s thoughts are higher than ours. This I have come to realize when I go into a new place, thinking I was meant to fulfill one purpose, and I find myself accomplishing something completely different. I’ve noticed that God has me at different places for different reasons. My life in one place is never the same as my life in the other. But ultimately, I see how I’ve grown in different areas because of all my experiences. Some lessons I wouldn’t have learned if I didn’t move. Don’t assume; see what God is doing with you.
6. Remember the promise. As I grow older, I am almost tempted to think that moving will be easier if I were married because at least I would not be traveling alone. I’ll be going with one person who knows who I was and sees how I’m changing. But God’s says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NIV). He knows me more intimately than any human being ever will. I am home whenever He is with me, and He is everywhere, so I am always home. Therefore, I can relax. You can be comforted in the fact that God will always be with you wherever you go.
Ajab Amin is the founder of www.mindbehindtheface.com, writing to encourage people to find and do what God designed for them.
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