No, it is not our turn again quite yet (give it another eight months or so), but for many in the military it is PCS (Permanent Change of Station) season. Once again they pack everything they own, jump in the car or on the plane and head off to new adventures.
On the surface (and at other points) it can be a wonderful adventure, but there are challenges that come with it as well. Helping your children say goodbye to their friends…again, cleaning a house good enough for an inspection, starting over finding new houses, churches, schools, friends, Target :). It can be a struggle – emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Some of our friends have moved even more than we have. In our married life of a full nine years we have lived in five different houses. We have friends that have moved more than 10 times and not been married 15 years. Crazy.
Now we also have friends that have only moved two or three times in 10 or 12 years. I truly don’t know which is easier – living for shorter times at each place or being able to stay put but being so attached when you move because you have been there so long. Either way, it can be difficult.
Our family has started to look at these moves as Treasure Hunts as most of you know. A time when we are off on an adventure to see what God has done – what house He has for us, what friends, church, neighbors. He has had it all planned for years and we simply get to go find it.
When our children were very young, we also started moving scrapbooks for the kids. We give them disposable cameras a few weeks before we move. They can take pictures of their friends, places we know, and the house we are leaving (we have even had pictures of the packers). They have a camera for the trip and for our new destination as well. Once we are settled, we go pick out some stickers, print all the pictures and add to the scrapbook. It has become a fun way to remember a place and have something to look forward to at the new location as well.
Regardless of what we do in a move, it can still be difficult at times as we hug friends goodbye, say farewell to a comfortable place, and set out into the great unknown – which is exactly what it feels like at times.
Thankfully, we do have one constant – Jesus. He has walked with us through every move, prepared the destination years before we got there, and planted us in just the right spot every time. He is in control. We have learned in this military life to follow Him. Army orders are great, but I am confident that God wrote those orders when time began. The Army just printed them on a piece of paper.
So, two things:
1. If you are PCSing, be encouraged that Jesus is still in control. The difficulties will be there, you will be exhausted, and tears may be shed, but He is in control. As Hebrews points out: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). He is faithful. He has been every other time and He will this time too.
2. As you have moved, what are some things that have helped you prepare you and your family to pick up and go again? Tips, suggestions, anybody? I know some of you have this down to a science :).
I, personally, am thankful for a God who continues to love me and go with me. Cannot imagine doing this life without Him.