December 15, 1992
We have a few more than usual parcels to unwrap this Christmas, maybe over a hundred extra, but they are not all gifts!
No, we did not win a lottery nor do we have a wealthy relative; the parcels are moving cartons. For me, this is relocation number 27, but I am looking forward to it because we are returning home to Alberta.
Some people wonder, “You must have this matter of moving down pat by now?” Well, we can pack up and unpack fairly quickly. It does not take long to get things put away and life back to a normal routine. But lifting boxes and putting things where they belong is not the tough part of moving; it is the mental and emotional adjustment. In fact, researchers say one move requires a normal recovery time of about two years. Multiply that by 27 and it means I’m not old enough to know what it means to be “adjusted!”
Actually, some new orientation is fun, like making new friends and finding new sights to see. This time, we move into a brand new home (built by phone and fax!) and are going to be much closer to our family. All these pluses ease the pain of leaving wonderful friends and familiar conveniences here in Saskatchewan. They will also help us through frustrations like weeks of trying to remember where I put the scissors, stationery, and sugar canister. I’m sure I’ve spent half my life filing!
Just for fun, I did a word search on my computer to see how many times the word “move” is in the Bible. Even though the nation of Israel spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness, their society was a lot less mobile than ours. I found only a few passages that referred to moving in the sense of packing up and going somewhere else to live.
Most of our moves have been connected to my husband’s work — but there is no specific mention in the Bible of moving for that reason. In two cases, people moved because their enemies forced a relocation. In another situation, a Bible family moved because God called them to a new location.
I can relate to some of those but the verse I liked the best was this promise: “I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them any more, as previously...” (2 Samuel 7:10).
Hope of a final destination helps in adjusting to a mobile lifestyle right now. It also helps to accept it without complaining. God has given my husband wonderful skills and opportunities to use them in his work, and his work requires that we move now and then. Besides, each new location has great benefits; we keep meeting the most incredible people and have made some wonderful friends.
The best of those “move” verses didn’t have to do with moving a household, however it did offer encouragement for the upsets of writing final exams, moving from two houses (one here, one in Fort Saskatchewan) into one house, celebrating Christmas, and still remaining enthusiastic and sane. It says, “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
While we celebrate the gift of God’s Son, we also celebrate that He has made all 27 moves a growing, purposeful experience.