During a memorable cross-country move in our min-van from Central Florida to Southern California with four daughters and a Siamese cat in tow, I followed closely behind my husband driving the move-it-yourself U-Haul truck.
Diligently, we trekked across the Southern U.S.A. from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. From rousing cheers at finally making it across Texas (876 miles in all), to concerns of overheating through the Southern California desert, we forged ahead in our relocation caravan.
Even in my sleep, the back of the moving truck was literally etched in my mind. Visions of the backlights and truck’s logo were all my closing eyes could see at night.
Like Michael W. Smith’s “I’ll Lead You Home” CD that became forever ingrained in my mind during this move, I’ve been learning that home is not the one house I dreamed of living out my life in but rather the comfort, security, contentment and joy that comes in following God’s leading.
I Shall Not Be Moved!
Tired of the numerous moving around as a pastor’s kid, I dreamed of growing up and living in one house in Ohio for the rest of my life, and never, ever moving.
But marriage to a young man with an adventurous heart, along with his military service, seminary, and pastor positions, changed those plans. From Ohio to Colorado, to North Carolina, to Alaska, Hawaii, California, and so on, moving has become a way of life in our marriage.
Thinking back now, I’m wondering if including Ruth 1:16 in our wedding vows that states, “…for where ever you go, I will go,” may have had something to do with it?
And like the classic 1953 film The Long, Long Trailer starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, that chronicles newlyweds who buy a trailer and travel across the U.S.A., I can relate!
After 30+ moves in our marriage … I’ve stopped counting.
Obviously, my childhood dream of staying in one location didn’t become a reality. Yet, I’ve come to terms with it, growing with each move in discovering how to enjoy the journey.
Let My People Go!
Looking throughout scripture, there are numerous illustrations of individuals and nations who weren’t sure about following God’s leading in moving. And their hesitancies to relocate seem to cover a variety of reasons, such as having to leave a familiar land and people behind, give up a certain security, including in some circumstances, even the security of being a slave in a foreign country.
Of course as an observer, it’s always easier to look back and wonder why the characters would hesitate, knowing how the decision turned out in the end. But in reality, I understand the challenges of choosing to trust God in giving up a current situation without knowing what the future holds.
And like people in the Bible, God’s leading to relocate has come in various forms, including job changes, graduate school, being closer to family, and so on.
Calling All Pilgrims
Early on in our moving adventures, Psalm 84:5 caught my attention, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” (Definition: a journey to a place important to a person’s beliefs and faith.)
Moving and being opened to moving is important to me and to our family.
By being open to relocating to wherever God is leading, we are giving up our own selfish desires and plans for our lives in preference to His.
Deciding early on that I didn’t want a house, location, job, and etc. to be more important to me than God’s leading, Isaiah 55:9 influenced my thinking and decision making:
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Although there have been several places where I REALLY, really wanted to stay and put down permanent roots, even in heavy discussions, tears, and pleading with God, my heart didn’t want to limit His plans for us.
In the end, I’ve discovered that I’m just not willing to tell God that I have to stay in a certain place or position, and run the risk of missing out on His higher ways for our family.
Head ‘Em Up, Move ‘Em Out
So do I enjoy packing, unpacking, and moving? No.
Am I good at the process? I have my methods, and maybe have packed and unpacked enough to rate as a professional? My most effective technique in doing it so many times is to not dwell on it or talk about it, but rather just do it. One dish at a time.
Although my childhood dream didn’t come true, U-Haul’s moving trucks’ slogan for years was “Adventures in Moving,” which pretty much sums it up. And my heart is grateful to God for helping to change my vision for our married life from my own self-determination to stay in one place, to being open to His moveable will for our future.
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
How to Rescue a Day Gone Wrong in Your Marriage
Just because a day doesn't start well, doesn't mean you can't rescue it.
How To Change Your Life in 10 Minutes
Here's how you can change your life with a simple 10 minutes a day.
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Here are practical ways to help your child lean into the voice of God.
5 Strategies for Developing Lasting Love
These practical and biblical strategies can help you develop lasting love.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
What Women Are Saying
-- Jenny Schroedel, author of Naming the Child: Hope-filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith4 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship5 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships4 weeks ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage5 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith4 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles5 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles5 years ago
Relationships6 months ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Articles8 years ago
June Cleaver Syndrome