My husband has said that one of the hardest things about military life is the feeling of being transient. We move every few years, setting down roots only to pick them up again. We form friendships, find a church family, build memories in a town that we will, only temporarily, call home. We've lived in rental house after rental house, building such sweet memories, only to have to leave it behind.
It's hard living without that permanency. To always sense another move up ahead. Often, we've wished we could make big changes to our house, tearing down wall paper, remolding a kitchen, wishing the place actually belonged to us, but we couldn't. We were transient.
We didn't belong.
That feeling, of not truly belonging, really isn't a strange one. The Old Testament Patriarchs were often nomads, traveling from place to place (check out the story of Abraham starting in Genesis 12). Even in the New Testament, Peter & Paul refer to Christians as being aliens in this world. As not really belonging ( 1 Peter 1:17, 1 Peter 2:11). We're reminded that our citizenship isn't here on earth but in heaven up above (Philippians 3:20). Such a great reminder for all of us! Yes, things change. Lives are ever changing. We're meant with circumstances that we never thought we'd have to face. The unpredictable, the unsettling. the larger than life. But this I find confidence in: when other things in my life change, He is never changing.
Yes, I may often feel like I don't belong. Honestly, I'm not looking forward to feeling like the new girl in town again! I get anxiety just thinking about the awkward situations. But I do know this. God will come along with me each step of the way. It's amazing to think that He's been preparing the perfect school for my children, a great church for us to be a part of it, and friends for us to meet. He's been preparing all of the details since before time began. He knows the full breadth of our stories (see one of my favorites, Psalm 139!). He's got all the answers, we just have to walk along, experiencing the next chapter of our story. When I think about it that way, it's really not so bad. When I focus on Him, His truth, His promises, I feel a lot more settled. Because I know that my identity is set in Him. He is my foundation. He is the one whose planted me (Psalm 1:3).
In that confidence, I do put down roots. I strive to make each house that we live in a home. I seek out a church family, look for new friendships, love on others. And I fill our house with familiar things, memories, decor, things that come with us each an every move. The familiar. I make the best of this life God has given me here and now. I've truly been blessed, and so I want to live each day to the fullest.
The truth is this: circumstances may change, but our hearts remain planted in Christ.
And isn't that what really matters?