It is inevitable that on this side of heaven we will face sorrow, frustration, and pain. Moving to a new state may greatly bless our lives. However, it doesn’t rid our lives of pain or hardship. As a family, we faced trials in CA and we will continue to face trials in TX. As Christians, we are under no assumption that this life will be free from suffering. In fact, the Bible tells us quite the opposite.
“Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”James 1:2-4
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but Jehovah delivereth him out of them all.”Psalm 34:19
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the eagerly awaiting creation waits for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God.”Romans 8:18-19
Even with the knowledge of God’s beautiful truth, facing a large trial in your new home and new state might knock you off your feet more than you expected. For our family personally, we have been facing the trial of my dad’s declining health. To respect his privacy, I won’t go into all the details. But I will say that, after 6 weeks in the hospital he was finally well enough to come home last week. Now, we are adjusting to all his new needs and finding a new rhythm.
What you are facing will likely look different: a strained relationship, a difficult child, or intense loneliness. Perhaps you are facing financial stress. Maybe you have received the medical diagnosis you have been dreading. Maybe you have lost the child you have been praying so desperately for. Whatever the trial may be, God knows, understands, and is with you.
Here are 3 truths to encourage us all, whatever we may be going through.
Grass is Greener Where you Water It:
When facing a trial, it can be tempting to look over your shoulder and lament a time in the past when things were different or “easier.” However, “watering” and fostering what is right in front of us will produce beautiful fruits of gratitude. Investing in what we do have in this season is going to produce thankfulness and joy.
Watering the grass in front of you can be as easy as being intentional and present with your kids this summer. Or it can look like finding ways to create a comforting and peaceful home: http://redstateramblings.com/5-tips-for-comforting-your-family-during-a-big-move/, finding all the things to be thankful for in your new state: http://redstateramblings.com/12-unlikely-perks-to-being-a-texan/ or if you are struggling with discontentment, speaking hard truth to your grumpy heart: http://redstateramblings.com/4-truths-to-feed-a-complaining-heart/
There is nothing about still living in California that would make the hardship of my dad’s declining health any easier. In fact, living in Texas has allowed us the opportunity to have a home big enough that my parents can live with us while they are walking through this valley. This has allowed us to be together as a family through a very tough time. It has also allowed my children to witness, first-hand, the beauty of my mom’s faithful and Godly love to their Papa, even when things have been difficult.
The God Who Was Sovereign Over Your Life in Your Old State is Still Sovereign Over Your Life in Your New State:
Over the last 11 months since moving from CA, I have had moments of weakness that made me wonder… “Was moving the right choice?” And when I do, my mind floods with overwhelming peace that yes it was. Moving was, indeed, the right decision for our family. Where does this peace come from? Well, as Christians, we have the beautiful comfort that God goes before us and with us.
The same God who is sovereign over blue states is also sovereign over red states. May we never forget that this is our Father’s world! We can rest in the complete comfort that He is not surprised by the sinful support of abortion or the confusing rhetoric of gender ideology in the USA. He is not surprised that Sri Lanka is in complete disarray or that we are experiencing crippling inflation in America. Nothing in our country or world or our personal lives is happening out of His control.
However, feelings of doubt may come. When they do, we have the choice to decide what to do with those feelings. If you are facing a difficult season, I encourage you to speak truth to lies. Remind yourself of your “why?” Why did you move? Why is your new home a better place for your family? Thank God for where you are, knowing that He is beyond a shadow of a doubt in control and that nothing happens apart from His perfect plan.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father: but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”Matthew 10:29-31
Community is So Important:
Moving to a new state is wonderful and difficult for a myriad of reasons. Our move has been mostly wonderful, but the difficult moments do seem to come from seeking to create and build community again. It is not easy to break out of one’s comfort zone and make new friends. It takes time to foster true and meaningful relationships. If you have moved recently, have you found this to be one of the difficult transitions?
My husband and I are both introverts, but nothing has made me want to invest more in our church and reach out in hospitality and get to know fellow believers than facing a trial. Being in a tough season, reminds us that we need each other. God created us to live in community with one another.
I am so incredibly thankful for the support that we do have here in Texas. I am also so thankful that we have so much support, love, and prayers being sent our way from all our family and friends in CA. For more encouragement on building community, this post by Lindsey, portrays so wonderfully the beauty of community in her old state as well as in her new one: http://redstateramblings.com/moving-day-reflections-tearful-goodbyes-a-happy-hello-to-idaho/
If you have moved recently, I would encourage you to never underestimate the importance of community and get plugged into a Bible believing church immediately. I’m newly motivated to invite people over for dinner, organize play dates, and attend Bible studies. It may take time, but I know building these relationships in our new state will be 100% worth it. In addition, thanks to technology we have so many ways to keep up with friends who we no longer live near. Take the initiative and stay a supportive friend even when you don’t physically live near each other anymore. Send the text, make the call, or send the birthday care package. Community is a blessing!
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”Galatians 6:2