Monday, April 7, 2014

thoughts on our approaching move

In a few months our family will be uprooting from our sweet life here in Kentucky and replanting ourselves all the way across the country in Oregon. Why are we moving? The Lord provided Patrick with a teaching job at a seminary out there. We are thankful for this provision yet at the same time sad to leave everything Louisville is and has been to us.

As the move gets closer I find myself thinking about and getting slightly overwhelmed by all that there is to do in a move of this size. I mean we've moved a few times in our marriage... 4 moves in 5 years. And we've handled them just fine. But those were all within the same city in the same state. This upcoming move is totally different.

My emotions are like a roller coaster. At the very beginning once we first were offered the job and decided to take it, I cried. ALL THE TIME. Thankfully the Lord has given much grace and the tears have calmed down. I still cry but just not as often.

Today I started thinking about packing up our current house and trying to sell another. Looking on pinterest trying to find clever tips for organizing and labeling your house in boxes. It kind of started sinking in. This is really happening. And then the tears started flowing again.

In the midst of the tears I wanted to write down some of my thoughts and things that the Lord is teaching me in this move. I need to constantly be reminded of the Lord's care for me (and my family) in this process. If not I can get bitter and scared. But when I am looking to the Lord and seeing his hand in it all, I am reminded that I have no cause for worry or for fear. When I see how the Lord has loved me (and my family) I am reminded that I can love others and not let bitterness settle in my heart.

So a few things that the Lord is teaching me (in bullet points):
- He orders our days... I'm in a Bible study with several women from church and was recently so encouraged by our study on the book of Ruth. Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi had many hard things happen in their lives. They both lost their husbands and were in the midst of a famine in a foreign land. As their story unfolds it is clear to see how every single step they took was ordered by the Lord and was being used in a bigger story. The Lord provided for them and rewarded their faithfulness and trust in the Lord.

- Pruning is painful but bears fruit in believers... I feel like I'm in the midst of a deep pruning. I'm being stripped of a lot of earthly comforts. Family, friends, a great church and community, familiarity of my home state, and more. This is hard but I am thankful for good truth in the Bible like Romans 5:3-5  
"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
I can find comfort in this suffering of leaving family, etc because I know that it will produce endurance, character and hope! 
Another verse that encourages me is Matthew 19:29 
"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. "
This is comforting to me because all of the things that are being given up are things that are fleeting. They don't last. Family members may die and houses can be burned by fire and possessions can be stolen or lost. But life in Christ is eternal. I can't ever lose that or have it taken away! In other words... Christ is better!

- God is the God of all comforts. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction,"
Knowing that this is true I can look forward to the Lord comforting me in this hard season. I was thankful for wise advice from our Pastor and his wife saying that it's ok to grieve but it's not ok to refuse to be comforted by the Lord. Moving and leaving family and friends will be hard. But I know that the Lord will provide for us out there. I can be excited to meet a new friend because that is a means of the Lord comforting me. 

There are many many more things that I'm learning and processing in my mind and heart. I just wanted to write down a few so that I can be reminded in the future of the Lord's work in my life even in this season of change.