I lift up my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip-he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you-the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm-he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
– Psalm 121
I often feel like I am caught in the vicious cycle of coming and going. I don’t know what the average time of living in one spot is for traditional nomads but our family has lived in at least 8 different “homes” in less than 4 years. This cycle began when we sold our house and my husband and our 2 year old daughter moved in with a lady while we raised support to move overseas.
After 8 months of living with her, we moved to a city in SE Asia to study language for 10 months before moving to an entirely different island to work for another 10 months. Then God unexpectedly called us to transition to a new country a year and a half ago. This required a return to the States before setting out again. We have bounced around to various homes (and basements) ever since, including moving into my in-laws’ home for several months, (my husband hasn’t lived with them for nearly 15 years!) With all these moves and transitions it can be hard to find shelter from the storms of life.
I am not going to lie. There is a part of me that just wants to lose my lunch every time someone mentions the word transition! I know it is a long and gut-wrenching process that brings out all kinds of crazy! However, I am learning that it can also be a time of growth.
A few months ago I was walking through Walmart with my two children, trying to steer clear of the toy aisle and tackle my shopping list when I was approached by a DirectTV salesperson in the Electronics Department. He asked if he could interest me in some special promotion if I would sign up for satellite service. I quickly and rather rudely replied, “No, are you kidding me. I don’t have a house or even own a TV!” And with that I sped away in embarrassment. I bet he doesn’t hear that one everyday!
It has been strange to be “homeless” for the last year and half. Now we are aren’t homeless in the sense that we are begging on the side of the road for shelter and our next meal. Though we have been hitting the support raising pretty hard which can often feel like begging! I have hated being asked simple questions like “What is your address?” and “What state are you in now?” Just last week we got not our first, nor second, but our third new driver’s license since returning to the States! I would love to say I have always handled the transition and lack of a “home” with grace and ease but that hasn’t always been the case.
Something within me has always longed for a home, some rootedness to my life. As a child, I moved a couple of times but never more than a few miles, but since marrying my husband 12 years ago we have become professional wanderers (if there is such a thing). I think many people who have watched our life unfold over the last decade plus, think that we enjoy this constantly moving around. Truth be told, we actually do not. However, we aren’t content to just sit by when God calls us to move and calls us to action.
We are preparing to move overseas next month and there is a part of me that wonders, “Will it be longer this time? Will we find a place to land-even for a few years?” I am hopeful but I also have learned to be content without a house, without a “home” in the traditional sense. Through all the ups and downs of moving overseas, returning to the States, and preparing to move again, God has taught me so much. He has shown me a side of His Faithfulness and His provision that I am incredibly thankful for. He truly has taught me that even in the midst of chaos and confusion and unending transition, that He is my shelter, a refuge from the storm. He has reminded me time and time again that earth is not our home and heaven is. When everything changes, and it changes often, He is our constant, and He is with us and watching over us!
Have you experienced any recent transitions or periods of “homelessness”?
How can you be intentional about finding your shelter in God during these times?
I pray that whatever storms of life or transition you find yourself in today, that you will keep your eyes fixed on God-our perfect shelter! Home is wherever God has called us and He is the shelter we need.