One of my favorite places of community is the YMCA, because it offers friendship as well as multiple ways to keep fit. And occasionally, I attend a women's ecumenical Bible study, which meets weekly in the Y chapel.
Today I was gathering my stuff, when one of the young women in the Bible study stopped to talk. She explained that she was moving to Japan at the end of the month. Her husband, who works for Eli Lily, a major employer in Indianapolis, was being transferred so that he could teach the Japanese in the Lily plant there. She said that they would be gone for ten months.
I sensed that she was apprehensive about this relocation. So, I proceeded in my "wise voice" to share that every time I moved, I learned more about myself and more about God. I continued that in each place I've lived, God has open my heart to new ways of seeing and being with God. My friend smiled, and said, "Yes, that is probably true." I gave her a "benediction" as we parted ways, "I pray God's blessing and care as you travel."
Later in the afternoon I thought, "I need to listen to my own advice. I've been so immersed in grief about leaving my church family, that I haven't even honored the possibility that--I will learn more about myself, about God, that God might even guide me to new ways of seeing and being with God, and who knows what opportunities will appear once I find a new church."
I know that many who read SpouseConnect might be facing a move in June or early July. I do not know the feelings or emotions that are surrounding these moves, but I do know that the same God will be with me and with others who are relocating, when I leave my beloved church family after 15 years, and walk into a new church the next Sunday. God is with all of us wherever we are -- even in faraway Japan.
God, you are everywhere and in your presence is everything all of us need. Keep us seeking you at all times. Amen.