[Blogger’s Note: If you haven’t already done so, please read my earlier “Who Am I” intro post and Part I in my Home Sweet Home series prior to reading this post.]
The time seemed right. After a tour of duty overseas and another year stateside, hubby was ready to resign from military life.
We were enthusiastic and relieved when he landed a job as a sales representative with a national company. After two weeks training, he was assigned a position in a Midwestern city. It wasn’t home, but it was a bit closer to home.
We purchased our first very own house in the suburbs, nested pretty well there, and two more little additions, middle daughter and son, were added to our family during the time we lived in that house. Soon we outgrew our smaller abode, so we searched for a larger one in a suburb farther from the city, happily sold our older house, and snagged a new one under construction.
We resided in the new place for a couple of years and even though we chose the carpeting, paint and wallpaper, and we had many happy memories there, it still didn’t feel quite like home. But we were content; we belonged to a wonderful church, where we felt like family; we had amazing friends, great neighbors and lots of activities and opportunities in which to volunteer.
We moved from the Midwest (with me kicking and screaming inside my head) to the Pacific Northwest when my husband received a job promotion and relocation. I was comfortable in the Midwest where we had lived for eight years, and it was a drivable distance to our home state from there, so I really did not want to leave.
In my heart and mind, I had hoped and prayed for hubby’s job relocation to take us nearer home, not further away. So the day he announced a promotion and subsequent move to the west coast, I was shell-shocked. Instead of moving closer to our home state, we were heading in the opposite direction! One of my friends consoled me with this statement, “Well, look at it this way. You can’t move any farther west; you’ll fall into the ocean!” Some consolation.
Moving that far away from home felt like I was falling into the ocean! It loomed huge and overwhelming in front of me, but for the sake of my children, I outwardly treated the move like a big adventure. I strived diligently to discuss it in a positive manner so my children would embrace a healthy attitude about the upcoming upheaval.
Still it unnerved me to watch that gigantic moving van drive away from our Midwestern home with our entire household and our car loaded on it! With just our suitcases, we boarded a plane and flew to our new home on the West coast. Despite my trepidation, the move did prove positive.
We settled nicely into a new house in a great neighborhood with an excellent school for our children, found a welcoming body of believers who quickly became like family, met life-long friends, and traveled up and down the Pacific Coast absorbing sights and places we never would have experienced if we had stayed in the Midwest.
But I never lost my yearning to go home. T.S. Eliot wrote “Home is where one starts from” – and in my heart that was utter truth. I may have left my home behind, but home had never left my heart.
At some point, I engaged in a Bible study with a godly woman younger than me in age, but sometimes wiser. Every week we discussed contentment and God taught me a tremendous amount about that subject. I intend to write a blog post sometime in the near future sharing what I learned during that time.
I prayed often for God to help me latch onto the security of being content where He planted me. “A contented man is one who enjoys the scenery along the detours,” someone once said, and I desired that. However, I still tightly clutched the thought that the detours would surely lead me home where I would attain that long-sought-after contentment.
The Lord had other plans for us. He kept us in the Pacific Northwest for six years. Trips home were rationed to every other year because flying cross country for a family of five was expensive. Job downsizing threatened hubby three times and the third time, my husband lost his job, but God amazingly provided a new one.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when it occurred, but I finally learned to be satisfied where God had planted us. My husband and I traveled further in our walk of faith when God took us the farthest from home. The area’s gorgeous scenery was awe-inspiring, but believers in Christ a minority there, so we quickly learned to be strong in our beliefs and to fully rely on the God who truly supplied all our needs.
And when I, in particular, learned that lesson, God showed me it was time to go home.
[Please come again tomorrow for the next installment in my Home Sweet Home series.]