In case you didn’t know, growing up my family moved A LOT. By a lot I mean by the time I graduated high school, we moved about 8 times, I attended about 11 different schools, lived in 4 U.S. States and 3 different islands in the Caribbean. It was a running joke in our family that when a family meeting was called, my brothers and I automatically responded, “where are we moving to now?” Though we look back and laugh, going through it was different. To think back upon your 5-year-old self and how you comprehended leaving your home, school, friends, classmates and teachers; to know you will say goodbye to the familiar streets you played on, the familiar doors you walked through each day to your home, the familiar backyard that hosted many summer nights full of running and playing, the familiar faces on your block. It is a lot to say goodbye to all you know, to the life your 5-year-old self loves and hello to a future completely unknown to you.
standing in front of our home in Dallas, TX (the home I was living in at the age of 5) – visited it this past December when I went to Dallas to run my first marathon
Because of this life, I have lived in quite the variety of places, from the suburbs of Dallas to the inner city of the armpit of America (New Jersey); from the north shore of Long Island to the islands of the Caribbean. This life has also instilled in me an ability to more easily adapt to my surroundings.
Was my dad in the military? Was my mom some sort of executive hired to put company’s in order? Were my parents running from the law? I’ve heard many questions as to why my parents would uproot their family time and time again. When I look to the reason for our constant moving, when I think what would cause my parents to relocate their family time and time again , I realize the answer I have used for years, “they are missionaries”, isn’t quite right. There were seasons where they were not “in the mission field“. The true core to a constant life on the move comes down to obedience.
They obeyed the God they believed and served to go where He was calling them. They said yes when it meant leaving all they had behind, all their family, friends and possessions to live on a little island where we could just be a family. They said yes to live in a place where they didn’t know the language. They said yes even when it meant uprooting 3 kids, 2 grandparents, a chihuahua and a cat to drive halfway across the country to follow a vision to serve the homeless. Their yes, their actions was their obedience to the God that saved them from themselves.
I have learned a lot from my parents, everything from how to clean to managing money, how to be compassionate and kind to how to love others. One of the greatest lessons they taught me however was not one that came with words. It was the lesson they lived day-to-day when they chose to walk by faith and not by sight. I have no doubt there were extremely hard times, however they made choice after choice to act out their faith and to walk in obedience with their God.
Today, as a wife and mother, I think about the things I desire my children to learn. I think about how I will live my life, for some of their greatest lessons will not be ones I teach them with words, but lessons that will come out of my daily life and choices. For some of the greatest lessons they could ever learn come out of faith, trust and obedience.