It’s been almost a year since our move across the country and something I’ve learned reminds me of good advice we were given as new parents: You have to hold onto the long view. A big move requires the same vision.
When the doctor places that newborn in your arms and you are overwhelmed with love for your baby, you don’t take the time to think about the specifics of parenting. You just know you love your child and you’re going to be there for him or her until the day you die.
As time goes on, all of your preconceived notions about what parenting would actually be like fly out the window.
A move is kind of like that.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Many times you can predict what gains and losses there will be with a move, but you can’t possibly predict them all, not even the majority. You may know you’re going to be moving into a bigger home, or a place with more likeminded people or a place with greener grass, but you don’t know what schools, church, neighbors, or grocery store you’re going to be inheriting in the process. You don’t know what it will feel like to leave that family member or friend behind in your old State. This is an entirely new thing and that is why, like most new things, finding enjoyment in it requires having a long view.
Why A Long View is Needed
The same way having a long view of parenting or marriage creates a committed faithfulness that can last the long haul, having a long view of planting in your new State is crucial.
That street that seems unfamiliar and strange will one day feel normal.
The surfacey friendship will deepen.
The new job will become the job you’ve had for years.
Time will continue to move and you will grow roots while it does.
God Knows What He is Doing
You don’t have to make quick decisions and you don’t need to feel embarrassed if you’re not sure what to do with a certain decision set before you in your new State. Because the fact is you don’t know what God is doing. And while you will make mistakes, God will not.
Just as a new parent naively believes they know all of the important decisions they will make with their child while he’s still just a baby, blue state refugees sometimes think we know exactly all of the ways God means to bless us with our move. But the fact is, we don’t. Because, just as in parenting, God is changing you through your move. He is busy softening your heart, filling you with courage, and working behind the scenes in a million ways you may never see answering your prayers and blessing you.
God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.John Piper
One thing’s for sure, your move will have elements that will challenge you. Not everything will be streamlined. In fact, this hard thing you’ve chosen to do may be very hard, one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. But, hard things are good for us comfort seeking humans. (Learn more about when to say yes to a hard thing here: http://redstateramblings.com/how-to-know-when-to-say-yes-to-a-hard-thing/.) Remember, God loves you so you are free to both enjoy the here and now in your move and look with hope to the future ahead.
Practical Ways to Hold Onto the Long View
So, thank God while you smell the amazing Tennessee wildflowers and pray for your grandbabies to one day do the same.
Establish new traditions in your new State knowing they’ll become “the way we’ve always celebrated.”
Look with expectant hope to seeing the goodness of God in real and tangible ways both in the here and now and fifty years from now.
As we have seen so visibly over these last several years, ideas have consequences. Your desire to move your family to give them a better quality of life will have many consequences as well. Some of them will be immediately perceived as good but some may not. And that’s ok. You don’t need to know what the long view will look like, because God holds it all.
Hold onto Him in this new thing, believe every one of His promises, celebrate your wins, trust Him with your losses and know that while you are one single life, He can use you in powerful ways, no matter where you live.
The long view can give you joy in the here and now. Hold onto it after a big move and life will feel lighter.