Transitions have become routine for us. Over our first ten years of marriage, we lived in 10 different houses and in 4 different states. When people ask us where we’re from, I never know how to answer because we’ve lived the life of nomads. To pack up and move to a totally new place is nothing new for us…but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. However, by God’s grace, we have learned some important lessons through these transitions.
1: Transitions are an opportunity for new experiences & new friends
We wouldn’t have moved across four states and now overseas if it wasn’t for the new opportunities that each place provided. And, because of these moves, we have experienced so much: the fear of tornado watches in Indiana, the cool canyon breezes of Utah, the best tacos and donuts in Texas, the tobacco and cotton fields of North Carolina, and the most beautiful landscape we’ve ever seen in Albania.
These moves have also given us the chance to make lifelong friends in every location. We feel incredibly blessed to have so many friends in so many places. One of God’s greatest gifts is friendship, and all of our moves have brought us so many ‘gifts.’
2: Transitions are easier when you’re not alone
Three times now, we have moved to a place where we knew virtually nobody upon arrival. It got easier each time. And we learned that if we had each other, then we had everything we needed for the short-term.
We learned to go out and try new, fun foods together after a tough day.
We learned to make every Friday night a big deal.
We learned to go on adventures in our new city as many weekends as possible.
Although our social circle started as just the four of us – my wife, two sons, and me – that was enough to have fun and appreciate all that our new city had to offer.
We also learned how important it is to plug into a local community as quickly as possible. For us, that was our local church. In every transition, we worked to integrate into a local church as soon as we could. It always took longer than expected but never more than a year. For the first few months, we had each other. Then, once we connected to this essential community, our ‘family’ grew significantly.
3: Transitions teach us that we are Citizens of Heaven
The Bible teaches that we shouldn’t have our eyes set on earthly things but on Heaven, as that is where our citizenship lies. Moving to a new place is the best teacher of this reality. Texans say you’re not a real Texan’ unless you were born there. That’s okay…our real citizenship was never in Texas anyway.
People ask us where we’re from, and we hesitate to respond. The best answer – we’re not of this world. If it wasn’t for all of the transitions we’ve gone through, I’m not sure we ever would have understood the power and comfort of having Heavenly Citizenship.
Our move to Albania 2 years ago wasn’t without its challenges. But it has been rewarding. And finding GDQ was one of the most important elements of our transition. GDQ allowed our boys to make new friends. GDQ has become one of our essential communities. GDQ teaches our boys the Bible.
We are grateful for all of our transitions. And we are grateful for places like GDQ that help ‘smooth things out’ when settling into a new city.