Moving is so very stressful no matter how old our children and no matter when we choose to move or where we move—across town or around the world!
Moving has always proven to test our marriage because Tom and I handle change so very differently.
One thing we both agree on, as we have experienced 22 moves in our 38 years on staff, is that we must trust God together for these changes, our children, and the call of God on our life.
As the kids grew in their connection with Christ and faith we began implementing the concept of the “Impossible List” even though we did not call it that at the time. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says,
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
My favorite memory of integrating faith in one of our moves was when we returned from Indonesia for a six-month furlough. In order to walk together as a family we made a prayer list where we each wrote what we wanted to trust God for in our “furlough home.”
Michael immediately wrote, “A computer.” Amy thought reflectively and listed, “A piano.” Stephen, our youngest merrily without reservation shouted, “Five TVs!!” We chuckled and Tom and I also added our desires to the list. We all continued to pray over our list during the six weeks prior to our return home.
After a long journey we all scrambled into the house our church had put together for us. Michael ran first and found his computer as our friend Dan was in the process of setting it up. Amy’s piano, sadly, was not to be found. But then, I received a phone call from one of the friends setting up our home asking, “This may seem crazy, but do any of your kids play the piano? We have someone who wants to bring one over!”
Finally, we found three TVs: one in the master bedroom, one in Amy’s bedroom, and one in the family room. Tom and I noted that there were not five TVs until we went into the garage where we discovered a mountain of objects under a tarp that were not going to be used for our set up. Under this tarp we found two more TVs that did not work. Relieved, we brought Stephen and showed him this great provision. (We were glad they did not work!)
Perhaps there are other creative ways you involve your children in moving. Trusting God together for our needs and desires is one way we grow excitement and anticipation for our new location. I recently spoke with our son Stephen who, when he recalled this particular experience shared, “The was one of the memories I have here God was real and involved in my life!”
Grandma “D” and Tom have been on staff with the Navs for over 30 years and married 43 years. They are blessed with three married children and seven grandchildren. Her most recent challenge in faith is walking with her son, Stephen’s family as their three year old daughter, Miriam, battles cancer. Knowing the depth of Christ’s love, His power and presence is sustaining them during this unpredictable time.