Change is not a bad thing - but it can certainly feel like it is picking you up, tossing you around, and then flinging you back to the ground bruised and uncertain about the ride you just took. You would think that I would be used to transition. After all, the almost 19 moves - including the one coming up next week - to 4 different states, several different towns and houses, two different continents, and many different church families that have dotted our marriage have all had many more amazing, life changing applications than bad ones. (Even the "bad" experiences are things I can be thankful for as I look back and see God's hand!) And the relationships that we have built over the years because of the moves remain, for the most part, strong and vital in our lives. We do not always get to see people as much as we like, but when we do it is usually picking up where we lift off. I am thankful for this gift, as that should not necessarily be the case.
But change is still change. It stretches you and tests your faith in the way you think things should be. It can be as simple as what color the dining room should be painted (I happen to adore the lemony yellow of our new house!) to how things should be run, where the store is, meeting more new people and remembering names and position, and learning a new culture. Even in our moves within the USA (and even within a state) each new place has its own feel, pace, and social structure. and this time we will be traveling back and forth all week between those two things.
The two churches we are a part of are very different - traditional, long standing, older in age versus mostly younger, more contemporary, and pretty hands-on. Neither is better - just different. There are things that I love about each place. And God is doing an amazing work in us by allowing us to form relationships and love both of these churches pretty quickly. We were praying for that, yet I admit, the quick answer has surprised and pleased me!
I always worry about the kids in the changes we make! I was anxious for months about our move to Malawi and how the kids would react. It was baseless as they ran off, made friends, tried new foods, and enjoyed their new space while I sat in loneliness and learned to give it over to God. I had been hoping that as we went to a new church in the States that there would be a kids program - and once again we are at a place where that is not up and running yet (though we are starting a kids church program in May!) But I feel a lot less anxious this time, as I am beginning to understand and believe that God is in control and has amazing plans for my children's lives that do not just start when they hit 18, but are happening now. This is part of that plan and purpose that he has for them - one with a hope and a future!
And as we continue to pursue Sudan and a life there, we will revel in the adventure he gives us here each day and the gifts and growing he wants us to do in this period of change. I thank you all for your prayers!