Transitioning to a new community has been difficult. Adrenaline that kicked in like a double shot of espresso carried me through those first few chaotic months. I either spoke to others in run-on sentences because I had so much information to give or fragmented sentences because my brain was so, well,...fragmented. If memory serves, I believe I walked around those first few months like a deer caught in a headlight, shocked to find myself, at my age, in a new life with all new everything - new church, new teachers, new friends, new neighbors, new job.
I made numerous appointments with utility folks who couldn't tell time and made wrong turns at almost every intersection in town causing the GPS system in my car to cry out loud. Setting up a new house, enrolling children in schools, beginning part time work for the first time in nine years was time consuming and mentally draining. Choices to be made came at us like a pitching machine with wiring gone bad, ducking those decisions we could put off for later and swinging with our eyes closed at those curve balls we never could have anticipated. We have struck out on many occasions but also have savored the moments of a well placed ball.
Moving an entire household, three children, two dogs and nine ferns across a state line was an overwhelming undertaking that I have just begun to inhale. For some, moving is not the Herculean task it was for me. But, see, I like to stay put. I want a home I will always call home. I want bedrooms in my house that sleep not only my children but one day their children. I want to invest in a church and in friendships and in a community that produces mutual dividends long into the days when I am gray and wrinkly and wearing pants pulled up to my armpits. I like the security and the comfort and the familiarity of knowing those around me as well as they know me. I don't like new, I like old.
However, if I have learned anything over the past year it is this : make a plan and watch God laugh. The life I had perfectly in place, with dreams and desires that suited me well was a life different than the one God had in mind for me and my family. When He was directing our steps this time last year, the verses He placed before me resounded loud and clear that my ways are not His ways, my thoughts are not His thoughts.(Isaiah 55:8) He reminded me then, and even now, when doubts creep in, when I am searching for a friendly face or reassurances of decisions made, of this verse:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
I look back and realize we have a come a long way. But I look forward also knowing that we have a long way to go. In the believer's life that's the way it will always be. God's plan for my life involves continuous growth, stretching me at times beyond my spiritual elasticity, but in a good way, one that points to the purpose He had planned for me all along.
While change has been a stomach-clenching roller coaster to ride, sometimes joyful at the peaks and sometimes real sad at the bottom, I know that I am where God wants me to be. Regardless of circumstances or difficulties or the continued "newness" at every corner, I know this with wholehearted certainty: I'd rather be in the middle of God's will than out of it. That's the safe place. That's the true place of security and comfort and familiarity. That's home.