Learning to Live After All These Years

I don’t abide well.

We moved. A lot. And when you move, you don’t rest, you don’t settle. Roots can’t dig in, and growth stunts when we don’t remain. It took me many years to realize some of the effects of this wandering.
Is it possible to live half a lifetime without really learning to live life to the fullest? If you've spent your life on the move, failing to put down roots, always in a season of transition, perhaps it's time to learn the gentle art of abiding in Jesus.

Making friends doesn’t come easily.

Once you realize the pattern of moving, you’ll spend six months in this state and then six months in another, you don’t put effort into making friends. Seeing the point of making new friends, when you probably won’t be there to finish the school year or to start the next, feels like more than you can handle.

You don’t know how to say goodbye.

The first unexpected move came over Christmas break. Our parents packed up the family, moved us to a new town, and we never returned. There were no goodbyes to friends. Social media wasn’t around, so there was no texting, Snapchat, Periscope or Facebook.

The other moves weren’t as dramatic but still came with little notice. Although, when newspapers from other towns started arriving at our house, we knew we’d soon be packing and moving by the end of the semester.

No goodbyes … just leaving.

Expectations are minimal.

Whatever my expectations might have been, they became lost in the rear view mirror. The only thing to expect was another move. The expectations of getting involved in school groups or the community remained minimal. The one constant was church. It would be the one thing I counted on.

When this happens in your teenage years, it takes time to figure out why you have trouble trusting. And why you . Mostly, you want to stay in one place. You want to abide in the way Jesus talks about in John 15:4. He uses the word abide three times to let us know living in him means He lives in us.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

The New Living Translation uses remain, as does the New International Version. We could also use live or stay. To those we could add rest, be still, don’t go anywhere, linger.

Through all of this moving (which really was all about leaving), there was an abiding truth holding me. The knowledge that Jesus loves me, and His love stays. I only see this now, as I look back.

I was learning to live after all these years.

Through my parent’s divorce, His love stayed.
Crisscrossing the country, it endured.
Walking into a new high school again, His love remained.
In staying behind when family moved, His love brought peace and assurance He abides with me today and tomorrow.

Life always bring uncertainties. Plans won’t go the way we expect. People disappoint us, we lose jobs, and when we’re finally able to stay, our friends will move. We lose the promotion or our dream house. The adoption falls through. Or a million other things.

We can be swept up in the current of bad news but this is not where we abide. It is not where we linger and dig into the ground to make our home.

We live in the orchard where God is our gardener. Where He feeds the soil of our soul and produces the good fruit of love, gentleness and kindness. This takes time. He wants us to come and stay with Him, abiding in His love and living in his grace.

We can be swept up in the current of bad news but this is not where we should stay.Click To Tweet

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Is it possible to live half a lifetime without really learning to live life to the fullest? If you've spent your life on the move, failing to put down roots, always in a season of transition, perhaps it's time to learn the gentle art of abiding in Jesus.

debby hudsonWhen I’m not working alongside my husband in a shared ministry to men in recovery, I enjoy working to improve my skills in photography, writing and painting. We’re beach and boat loving South Floridians, and I make some of the best sweet tea you’re likely to have. If laughing were a sport, I’d be a champion!

You can read more by Debby at Living In Graceland.

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Here at Middle Places we LOVE a good story. Everybody is making their way through the middle of something and we'd love to hear about yours. Please send an email to editor@middleplaces.com or check out our Contact page if you'd like to share your story with us and our readers.
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Here at Middle Places we LOVE a good story. Everybody is making their way through the middle of something and we'd love to hear about yours. Please send an email to editor@middleplaces.com or check out our Contact page if you'd like to share your story with us and our readers.

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