In this week’s Monday Minute Kori, Founder of Planting Roots, shares with us 3 excellent strategies to flourish during a military move. Chances are, if you aren’t moving this summer, you know someone who is!
3 Clues to Finding God During a Move
by Kori Yates
As I sit here by the hotel pool watching my kids swim and perusing the local rental house market, it makes me chuckle that I would be writing about how to FLOURISH in times just like this. Having packed out of our house in Germany over a month ago, we have covered over five thousand miles since then and are still going. It has been an adventure for sure.
This isn’t our first PCS rodeo. In fact, it’s number eight in our 15 years of marriage. Each one different and yet a little bit the same. As we cruise through neighborhoods to get the lay of the land and find the house just for us, we see everything from questionable apartments to a pristine lawn we can’t afford. We do the same thing with churches, having moments when we wonder out loud whether we will have friends in this place.
Military Moves Bring Challenges and Blessings
It’s a time of significant change which can sometimes bring anxiety, fear, weariness, and a million other emotions we thought we for sure outgrew. It can be a challenging time.
But it can also be a time of immense blessing – what I call a “Front row seat to see God at work.”
And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33:15-17)
In those first few moves, we started to see a pattern of feelings just like that – fear, anxiety, weariness. Feelings we didn’t want but seemed to show up anyway. As schedule-oriented folks, this season of complete unknown makes us just a tad unsettled.
Then there was that one move where we started to see the bigger picture. It was a move to Georgia years ago when God showed up in an amazing way. We had given away furniture at our previous duty station to a friend who was in need, anticipating we would replace it on the other end. We had sold a house that we had made “just right for us” to look for a rental we simply wanted to be habitable.
In Georgia, we looked FOREVER at houses to find lots of nothing. It was to the point we didn’t even get out and look in the windows anymore. Truly we were wondering if we could just live in the car.
Then came the house. We found our treasure. It was just the right size, a price we could afford, and it had the two pieces of furniture we had given away built into the house. The cherry on top? They had painted the Master Bedroom the same color as our previous house. It matched our comforter perfectly.
Only God could do that.
It was that moment our moves changed forever.
This move gave us a tangible reminder of God. He had gone before us to choose a house, church, and friends we would stay connected with for life. He brought blessings through jobs, neighbors and even landlords. We could not deny his presence or his provision. What we came to see in this one tangible moment is what he had done multiple times before and many times since. He had gone before us, preparing the way and having a plan just for us, not just in houses and neighbors, but our opportunity to make an impact where we were. We had an “assignment” – one that was more than just orders on an email, but a greater assignment from the living God. And he made a way for us to accomplish it.
Look for God at Work During Military Moves
We went from dreading moves to calling them our Treasure Hunts as we go looking for all God has done in the place we are headed. Friends, houses, churches, and much more were things God had already planned for us. They were treasures we looked to find, ways we could see Him tangibly at work around us – our “front row seat to see God at work.” Going looking for God changed our hearts, our perspectives, and our lives.
Our prayer is the one Moses prayed as the Lord asked him to lead the people of Israel into the promised land. And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16)
It’s kind of like saying, “I’ll go if you go.”
PCSing can still be hard and tiring, but our Treasure Hunt is one we treasure. One we would miss if he had taken us on a different path in life. We’ve become thankful, even in the goodbyes and starting overs. Here is how we maintain that perspective, even on the difficult days.
How to Flourish During a Military Move:
- Trust who he is. God has made so many promises to us through Scripture about who he is and what he does. Trust that he is who he says he is. He is love. He is faithfulness. He is grace. He is hope. He is forever the same God.
- Go looking. Good or bad we usually discover exactly what we seek. This PCS thing is no different. We must choose to go looking for God’s provision and promise instead of roadblocks and rain. We’ll most likely find what we’re looking for.
- Rest in his faithfulness. Take a deep breath, my friend. This is a season. Soon enough you will have a church community in which to belong, friends with whom you’ll do life, and a place to call home. It takes time, but he is a God who provides.
God has a plan for all of this. Every move, every assignment, every deployment, every TDY – all of it. We are missionaries accomplishing what God has sent us to do. He tells us in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This next PCS go looking. You’ll find a treasure too.
Dear Lord, I know you have gone before me and you go with me. As I start this new adventure, I pray I see you tangibly at work around me and I walk boldly in all you have called me to do in this new place. Amen.
Verses to Ponder
“And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” (Exodus 33:14)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 )