Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Room to Move (Animotion)

My mom lives in California. My brother is in Oregon. My sister-in-law and her family are in Washington and my brother-in-law and his family are in Minnesota. Sound familiar?

According to Trends Report: Population Is On the Move, “This segment exhibits a trait that is common to Generation X—distance and existing family location play a much smaller role in their thinking and they are more likely to move farther away from ‘home’ than any other group.”

Even though most of our family was in California at the time, eleven years ago John and I moved to Montana with our kids. Why? We had friends who lived here who loved it, we wanted to raise our kids in a “family friendly” place, and we felt God calling us to move. It was good enough for us. We didn’t even blink at the fact that we were moving 1,000 miles away, and John didn’t yet have a job!

We also didn’t realize at the time that our move was “common” to Gen Xers. But looking at it now, most of my Gen X friends live hundreds or thousands of miles away from their parents and siblings.

Personally, I think one of the reasons Gen Xers don’t have a problem with living far away from our relatives is our definition of “family.” To us family includes those closest to us, including friends and fellow church members. And maybe this isn’t a bad thing after all . . .

1 Peter 1:22-23 says, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (NIV).

The imperishable seed that Peter is talking about here is our entrance into the “family” of God. When we accept Christ into our hearts, we are birthed into a new family—and that means a LOT of brothers and sisters. Personally, I love my church family. I love seeing their smiling faces on Sunday. I love having dinner with them, trading babysitting, and studying God’s Word together. I love getting to know new members of my family, some of which I’m just meeting. John and I had the opportunity to spend time with one family at our church that moved to the United States eight years ago from China. (Talk about moving long distance!) Through a “Suppers-8” program that connects church members for meals, we had a wonderful lunch at their home recently. And you know what, even though we were (literally) raised on opposite sides of the world, this couple and their teenage daughter felt like “family” right away. We could talk about our faith, and God’s work in our lives, from the moment we sat down to talk.

What about you? You may be blessed to have family living close by. (John’s parents and one brother and his family have since moved to Montana, and I love it!) Or your closest relatives may be your church family. Either way, why don’t you take time today to thank God for the family He’s given you? And then make a point of getting together with those you care about the most . . .

As the “oldies” song goes, “We are Family . . .”

2 Comments:

At Thursday, 13 April, 2006, Blogger Kristy said...

My family are all from the East Coast and I had never left the East Coast in my life until my husband accepted a job in Texas. I couldn't comprehend living in a place with no family. However, we had a strong sense that this move was what God wanted for us.

Once we found our church home, started getting involved and letting God's plan unfold we found that we were meeting terrific friends that were becoming our family. The people God has placed in our lives are just blessings that I can't begin to describe. Amazing men and women who have helped us grow spiritually and emotionally the last 4 years have been strategically placed around my family. I would not be the person I am today without these wonderful people in my life teaching me and growing me daily.

BUT, with all of these people around me, I still missed my family (especailly my sister) so much that it often became depressing to me. As I grew in my spiritual walk I noticed something. I noticed that as my complaining died down and my thankfulness became greater, PEOPLE STARTED SHOWING UP HERE! Yep, my in-laws (who had lived in the same house for 49 years) moved to be closer to grandbabies. 3 (yes 3) of my husbands very best college fraternity brothers and their wives are also now living here.

And the best thing of all is my sister may be coming too! In the early days of the move, we were both pregnant and having babies. I grieved so much missing the birth of her first child. I was so angry, hurt and lonely. But God was faithful to me and to be honest, it never dawned on me to pray for her to move here. I always just prayed that God would help me just to cherish what time we had in our visits with each other. And, hey, we move around a lot, maybe we would go back soon??? However, once again God has different plans..... the wheels are in motion for her husband to have a job here and I am speechless. WOW!

Now this brings the circle back around. My sister has never lived off the East Coast and her husband is an only child who would face moving many miles from his parents. But you know what, God works in miraculous ways and I just can't wait to see how He takes care of this situation. I can guarantee one thing, it will end in a big SURPRISE! LOL

 
At Thursday, 13 April, 2006, Blogger Tricia Goyer said...

Kristy,

Don't you love it when God works?! John's parents, his brother and whole family, and my grandma now live in Montana very near us.

We also have amazing friends that encourage us and support us. We also took a step of faith coming here, but God has proved to be faithful!

Thanks for sharing!
Tricia

 

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