We’ve packed a similar box for every one of our moves back and forth across the country. It’s been our way of creating a small comfort zone upon arrival in a new and unfamiliar home.
In each of our moves, we knew we were following God’s call to take up ministry in a new location, but leaving behind beloved people and the comfort of familiar places was still difficult. Transitions are traumatic, regardless of the circumstances. To minimize the stress for our children we made up lists with the phone numbers and addresses of their best friends, and encouraged them to keep in touch. We researched the new area ahead of time and as a family chose places we would explore. We acquired photographs of the new schools and church, and sometimes even a floor plan of the new house, with everyone’s bedroom identified.
As soon as we arrived in our new home, the first thing to be unpacked was the ‘homecoming’ box, eager hands reaching for their special treasures. Our first day’s devotional time included reassuring verses from the bible:
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” [Zeph. 3:17]
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.’"
There are so many transitional times in life – moving, changing jobs, death of friends or family members, retirement. But my husband is fond of the saying, “We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know Who holds our tomorrows.” We know that when we place ourselves in God’s care, He goes ahead of us into every situation and will be with us as we make the necessary adjustments.
Have you faced any major transitions in your life recently? Did you have special ways of coping with them?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carol J. Garvin is the wife of a retired Presbyterian pastor, mother of four and grandmother to several more. Her life has been a wonderful mixture of school teaching, church and family activities, owning a professional dog show business, and freelance writing. She and her husband live in a rural suburb of Vancouver, Canada.