July 1. A year ago today was our BIG MOVING DAY…the day my husband and I left a place we’d lived for 35 years, for an area that was “just” across town. Across town in Houston might as well be a different state! At first, there was just exhaustion, anxiety, and a lot of apprehension. Had we made the right decision? Did God really tell me this was where He wanted us?
I had been day dreaming of this move for several years as I became more and more discontented, for a number of reasons. The church we had loved and poured our hearts into for our entire married life had to close its doors (a story of its own). My parents both passed, and I went from being a daughter to a family matriarch. I saw one close friend and family member after another leave our “bubble” for a new life. Then Hurricane Harvey devastated the area, and it seemed that everywhere I went, there was a spirit of depression. I became complacent and inactive. I felt like everyone and everything I cared about was drifting away. Combined with the thought of impending retirement, I could only see a lonely, barren future in front of us, if we stayed put.
After a month of unpacking boxes at the new house, I began to emerge from the chaos and started to feel that I finally had the fresh start I’d been longing for. I had a blank slate! There was no complicated history, no memories (good or bad), no reason to feel stagnant or abandoned. I quickly found that I had a renewed sense of purpose, a desire to connect and belong, the right attitude about finding a church, and the determination to create a full life, once again. God blessed me with the spark needed to fuel my idle spirit.
Today, I am so grateful for the places God led me to, the people He put (and continues to put!) in my path, and the opportunities He lays before me, each day. I believe God orchestrated my introduction to Cyndy and The Vineyard, knowing my desire to do more work benefiting His kingdom – and that is just one example of His faithfulness. As I reflect, I have to admit that I could have created a “fresh start” without moving across town. I simply didn’t have the will or motivation to do it. God not only allowed my “geographical cure” to be a positive force, but continues to show me that we are right where we’re supposed to be. Despite my stubbornness and short-sightedness, He blessed our move.
One year later, I am so happy we moved; BUT the story could have ended much differently! There’s a lesson here, one that I didn’t learn by having to walk through it – although I hope if I ever find myself in a similar situation, I WILL. YOU DON’T HAVE TO MOVE TO GET MOVING ON WITH LIFE! If your church (or any place you love) closes its doors … start visiting possible replacements with an open mind, and be committed to finding a new place to love. If you feel like you’re not doing enough that matters, look for ways to contribute and volunteer. If it seems that too many of your friends are moving away, find places to make new ones. If your family leaves, plan trips to visit them more often. And if the area you live in – for whatever reason – is going through a tough time, find ways to lift the spirits of those around you. Don’t wait for life to magically bring you your heart’s desires … ask God for strength and guidance and then get out there and make it happen!
Psalm 20: 3-5 – Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Amen!