Sunday, September 25, 2022

Two Truths and a Lie About Moving

ears stung my eyes as I stepped into our Chicago apartment. The worn hardwood floors groaned underneath my feet as I explored the empty rooms. Despite the sunny July day outside, the inside felt gloomy because neighboring buildings blocked most of the light from windows.

We had committed—sight unseen—to renting this affordable family apartment from the university for the first year of my husband’s medical school. With no air conditioning or ceiling fans, I swiped sweat from my forehead and wondered how challenging street parking would be with a toddler—whenever we bought a car.

I quieted the inner voices of family and friends who broadcasted the high crime rates of Chicago—while statistics are useful, they can also paint a one-dimensional view of complex dynamics. Everything was unfamiliar in this large Midwest city. I felt as out of place as a flower growing between the cracks on a sidewalk.

Doubt seized the moment and whispered, “How could this be God’s provision?”

Truth: God places us in our geographic locations for a purpose.

I haven’t lived anywhere for more than three years—and the past two decades have been especially full of transition. But with each international or domestic move, I marvel at how God orchestrates my location like a grand master strategically moving chess pieces. And the same is true for all of us. God has “determined allotted periods and the boundaries of [our] dwelling place” (Acts 17:26)—with all the positives and negatives each spot holds.

He moves us where he desires for whatever time period he deems right. Whether it’s pursuing a graduate degree in a sprawling city, relocating our job to a rural town, staying rooted in our hometown, or wandering around the globe—God uses it all for his purposes because he is the one who allowed it to be so.

We can trust God knows where he planted us and lean into how he wants to utilize us there for his glory. Sometimes discerning this purpose feels like summiting a mountain. Other times, it’s as natural as watching the sun rise. But wherever we land on this spectrum, God knows how many days we’ll spend in a place and the ways he will grow us into his likeness.

Read the rest of my article on Risen Motherhood.