Moving is one of the top five stressors in life: Death, divorce, moving, major illness, and job loss.
For military folks, moving is a fact of life. Any woman associated with the military is all too familiar with this catchy little phrase,
Home is where the military sends you.
Whether you’re active duty or spouse, moving in the military has its challenges. If you want to survive the frequent transitions in military life, you have to embrace a mindset of creating a home in new places. Otherwise, you spend your time being miserable rather than enjoying the interesting experiences and people God brings your way. One thing I will honestly tell you is this: just because we have a catchy little saying that happens to be very true, doesn’t mean it is easy to move.
Moving is a lot of work.
We all know that PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station. The stark, official sound of a military acronym makes PCS sound like just another day at the office. In reality, a PCS involves a tremendous amount of work, research, purchases, decisions, as well as a good deal of emotional adjustments.
My last move.
I remember sitting in a Smooth Move class in preparation for our last move from Okinawa, Japan to Virginia. Sitting in a stale conference room with two dozen other families, the reality of change sank in and I could nurse my denial no longer. It was really time to leave. (Insert emotional hissy fit here).
After receiving tons of information about everything move, the mad dash to schedule travel plans and packers began. Nowhere in the meeting did they address the issue of I don’t want to move…again. I like it here, and I want to stay!
- There were no classes called, “But Moving Makes Me Crazy.”
- There was a distinct lack of any handouts entitled…”Saying Goodbye to Friends You Love.”
- There were no orders that address fitting a major life transition into your schedule.
That is not what these briefs are for. These briefs are all about housing checkouts, travel allotments, transferring medical regions, and household good shipments.
The paperwork is the easy part…it is the heart-side of moving that is much harder.
Life-lessons learned from moving:
Accepting change is my offering.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering (Romans 12:1, The Message).
…even if He chooses to pack it up on a moving truck and ship my family four thousand miles across the globe.
There’s something in me that wants to keep snatching up some aspect of my life off the altar of surrender to God’s plan. There are areas in my life I still want to control, and the unknowns of moving rake my emotions over the coals. This is one of the reasons moving is hard. Insecure with change, I struggle to wait in faith as God enables me to feel at home, adjust to a new command, find a church, make friends, help kids get connected, and so on.
This is the unease of one who has jumped off of the altar…struggling in spirit to rest and trust God in the midst of change.
Moves become symbols of change as the outward trappings of life are whisked away. The process of moving into a new place takes much longer than arranging the furniture, painting a room, or hanging the pictures.
When I truly place my life before God as an offering, I can let go of the desire to get everything worked out the way I want. Waiting with faith, I embrace what He has for me in the midst of change. After a fierce battle with my emotions, I open the doors of resistance, and truly lay my heart down.
Romans 12 continues with these words,
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing
you can do for him.
Embracing the changes God brings into my life is also the best thing I can do for me.
Home is where the military sends us, but trusting God opens the door to God’s fresh blessings in new places.
How can you open your heart to change today? What life lessons have you learned from moving?
Today’s post is from the musings of Ginger Harrington, social media coordinator for Planting Roots. You can also find Ginger’s writing on her award-winning blog, Ginger’s Corner: Where the Practical Meets the Spiritual. You can find other moving posts on her blog. She has also written for Just Moved!, While They Serve (Guideposts), The Navigator’s Military, 5 Minutes for Faith, More to Be, and NorthStar Women’s Network. Ginger and her retired Marine husband have enjoyed twenty-four years of military life and are parents to three young adults.