Have you ever moved?
Being in pastoral ministry such as we are, my husband and I have made several moves. In fact, as we speak, I’m in the process of packing up our Levitical tent one more time in order to take on our fifth pastorate in thirty-five years. I have to say, it’s always a little unsettling for this heart of mine.
I resonate with the quote, “A transition period is a period between two transition periods.” Ain’t that the truth? Life on this earth is one big transition period. It’s constantly changing.Thankfully amid life’s changes, the steadfast love of the Lord never changes (Lam. 3:22-23). He steadies our hearts as He calls us to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58) as we trust in and serve Him. But that’s no easy feat.
If you’re familiar at all with moving, you’ll know that with it come significant changes. Changes one might not consider unless one has moved. Ministry transitions are more than a simple change of address. They require acclimatizing and orienting oneself to a whole new church family, in a completely different city, in an entirely new community, in a new neighborhood that demands searching out things like a new grocery store, a new shopping mall, new health professionals, and other amenities such as: vets, schools, a new hairdresser, and hopefully a new massage therapist to help work out all the changes taking place!
Three years after the biggest transition of our lives—when my 19-year-old son made the transition to his heavenly home—we made a move to our present place of ministry. That was five-and-a-half years ago. Since then we’ve helped move our oldest daughter into her next chapter of life; resulting in more changes that have included the addition of a new son-in-law and two grandsons (the most recent addition being only a few short weeks ago). This past spring we helped all of our children make significant moves and transitions. And now it’s our turn again. That’s a lot of transition over a short period!
The most difficult part of this particular transition tugging on my heart strings is that we’re leaving our two youngest children behind.It’s one thing for your children to leave the nest. That’s God’s intent. But to leave them behind is a different story.I can tell you, that is no easy task for this mother’s heart. You can be sure that the Lord and I have had many a wrestling match over this over the past several months. And as always, He wins.His Word reminds me that I have to be willing to leave mother, father, brother, sister, and even my children to follow Him. Luke 14:25-27 is one of those passages.Regardless, and perhaps as you can imagine, my heart is craving a hefty dose of steadying in these “boxing days”.Therefore, I am taking close note of the new address the Lord has found for me. It won’t be the first time that He’s used my house address to speak life, truth, and hope into this heart of mine.
And it shouldn’t surprise me that as I’ve sought to follow the Father’s heartbeat, He’s led me into the heart of the Nation, to Ottawa—the Nation’s capital as a matter of fact. And, as always, the Lord has seen fit to give me a scripture passage to remind me of His ongoing faithfulness. And in this particular move, His ability to steady this heart of mine as I committedly, resolutely, and steadfastly serve Him.
“My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth” (Psalm 108:1-5).
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in London, Ontario, Canada.
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Contact Lisa at: email@example.com