For those of you who don’t know it, our family recently moved. As in, 2 weeks ago today the big trucks rolled up and took everything away. We had lived among some of the best people we’ve known in Almyra for nearly five years. We left there owing many things to many people, from emotional debt to encouragement debt to the fact that I know (and still intend to repay) I still owe someone money. No, it’s not a gambling debt either.
We’re now in East End, Arkansas. Actually, we live in Landmark, Arkansas, though I’m fairly certain that doesn’t make us Landmark Baptists. The church we serve is in East End, creatively named East End Baptist. It’s from the time before groovy church plants like “The Verge” or the “Connexxion” or anything else.
The first reflection I want to make on the move, though, is this: it never gets easier. Ann and I have both moved a good bit in our lives. We’ve gone through relationship changes from it, and it doesn’t get easier.
In fact, that was one of the harder parts this time around. I’ve done this enough to know that half the people who you say (and even intend!) to keep in touch with, you won’t. Either we’ll drop the ball or they will. A few are guaranteed—I still have Eric’s truck, for example—but everyone else? It’s a toss-up.
The kids, though, don’t really understand that. Five years have covered a lot more of their lives, and they expect the “you’re always welcome here” statements to be true. They have no reason not to think that.
Here I sit, then, wondering how much cynicism I need to project onto my kids. We were in a good church, with a good church family, but given our Sunday commitments, it’s pretty unlikely we’ll be back during church. So what will we do?
We’ll do our best. We’ll keep communication open, encourage our kids to write letters and make phone calls. And keep encouraging them to make additional friends, not new friends. Additional friends enhance your life but don’t replace the ones you already have.
And for that, we remain grateful as we have additional friends and family in this community. Some we haven’t gotten to know yet. Some we’re just getting started with. But life is made full by the lives you encounter, the people God brings through your path. We’re committed to a full life in serving Him. So we look forward to the rest of this adventure.