Well, it’s that time of year again! The time each year when the Payne family packs up all their earthly possessions and migrates. This year we are crossing continents again as life takes us back the United States. So far we have a perfect record, we moved once in 2012, once in 2013, once in 2014, and this is our move for 2015. It’s a great housekeeping method- about the time things start getting cluttered, broken, or really dirty- we move!
You would think that since we have such a moving habit we would have a pretty good system by now, but instead, every move teaches me afresh that God is the only One who’s supposed to be in control and our real job is just to choose to trust Him. Along the way, He rewards us with new treasures of truth lived and learned.
This first thing I’ve learned this move has to do with people. Very often during our time in Korea I have used the word “isolating.” Living in a foreign country, being unable to speak Korean, homeschooling, living off post, it’s all been very “isolating.” But now, as people say their goodbyes and send us off with so many sweet words and displays I’m convicted that it’s my own insecurity that has been the biggest force in isolating me. There are so many relationships that could have been a blessing to me but I held back from them and justified my actions with judgements. Why do I feel I must be restrained toward someone until I have bumped into them a certain number of times or met a certain quota of social pleasantries? Why do I have to wait for something to break the ice? It might just seem like the social norm, but as a christian I have Christ in my heart and if I close my heart off until people earn the privilege, then I am being selective about who gets to see Christ in me as well as missing out on whatever God could have taught me through an encounter!
As I walk around town this week each familiar face I see first reminds me of the sadness of moving and starting over, but second inspires me to live openhearted wherever I go. I don’t need to trust every encounter- the Bible commands me to be wise- but I do need to seek connection for the sake of the kingdom of God and for my own good. Moving is a great time to practice this: making eye contact, seeking to know about people, looking out for ways to care for the people I meet as if they are my brothers and sisters, (which the Bible says they are,) inviting people into my life, and being willing to share in theirs.