No move is complete without a little…actually A LOT… of unpacking. The moving truck arrives and the boxes start coming off.
The inventory is checked…
The unpacking begins!
And Life Goes on…
Now we all know that moving is more than unpacking. It is just not that simple. Just not that easy. Getting settled is a little more challenging than making brownies, if you know what I mean. If you have never had to move, bless your heart and take my word for it.
God, being the multi-purpose God that He is, always has more up His sleeve than an address change when it comes to moving His kids. There is definitely a place where the practical meets the spiritual in the sovereign moving plans of God. Once again, I find myself camping out on this familiar verse from Romans 12:1 in The Message:
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.
…even if He chooses to pack it up on a moving truck and ship you four thousand miles across the globe.
There is a part of me that wants to keep snatching up some aspect of my life off of the altar of sacrifice. There are areas in my life where I still want some semblance of control. I think that is why moving bothers me so much—I have to wait in faith as God enables me to feel at home, find a church, make friends, help kids get connected, and so on. Too often, I wait in anxious unease, as I get settled in a new place.
It is the unease of one who has jumped off of the altar…
struggling in spirit to rest and trust in the Betweener’s Stage of moving—the first six months to a year.
Instead changing things in one or two areas of my life, all of a sudden change becomes a constant of my everyday life, as the outward trappings of life are whisked away by the moving truck. On the other end, our household goods show up, but the process of moving into a new experience in a new place takes much longer than arranging the furniture, painting a room, or hanging the pictures.
When I get settled in our new house, I make many of the decisions…I have the power of choice…and I like that kind of control!
Other aspects of getting settled in a new place take time and God’s providing grace.
Now that I am back in the States, I can drive to Target and buy a new lamp or curtains. I can choose, pay, and take it home. No waiting. No wondering. It’s easy.
Finding a new “groove,” doesn’t come so easy. They don’t carry the essentials of life at Walmart and you won’t find them in any mall, no matter how many stores it has! Contentment, peace, relationship, connection, faith, and trust can’t be packaged and they don’t arrive in the mail. The all-important, intangible components of life are gifts that only God can provide.
When I truly place my life before God as an offering, available for His plans and His purposes, and His timing, I can let go of the self-oriented desire to get everything worked out the way I want it as fast as possible. When I decide to wait with faith and embrace what He has for me here, I open the doors of resistance, and truly lay myself down.
Romans 12 continues on with these words,
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Embracing whatever changes God brings into my life is also the best thing I can do for me.
The first few weeks we were back in the States I struggled with my emotions, particularly anxiety. (Yes my Inner Wimp barged in for an extended stay…) I don’t always hear God’s voice in my head, but over and over as anxiousness would rise up in my heart, I would hear the Spirit speak to my thoughts, saying, “Submit to change, Child.”
In many ways He was telling me to stay on the altar and let Him do something new in my life.
Whether or not I submit to and embrace the changes God has brought into my life, they are here. Change is a done deal. Embracing what God does with that change, cooperating with faith and grace, is that act of remaining on the altar.
As I submit to change, I give God the go ahead to do what pleases Him with my life. Through the sacrifice of resistance and control, I place myself in the alter-prone-position that frees God to do His greatest work in me, transforming me from the inside out… address change and all!