Bev was practically a stranger, but I sensed that I had to ask anyway, “if you feel like you know me well enough, would you speak to the principal for me?” Bev said “absolutely,” and within a week, I had a teaching job five states away and 15 minutes from my mom and dad. This move was both a dream come true and a nightmare. I was leaving my twin sister and her family plus a spiritual tribe that I had spent nine years cultivating. But I was completely certain that this journey was determined by God, so with that knowledge, I started packing.
Moving from California to Missouri was not my family’s first transition, nor was it our last. In my adult life, I have lived in 8 towns and 17 houses. I have packed and unpacked. I have hung pictures and filled holes. I have made friends and left them.
In each town, each church, each move, sweet, thoughtful gestures demonstrated to me that God was always with us in the leaving and the arriving: Filled pantries, loaded trucks, unloaded trucks, baby showers, Thanksgiving dinners, campfires, church camps, hand-me-downs, help with house projects, coffee dates. I can’t even begin to list the precise moments and the precious people that showed me, “Jesus is here.”
I want to list each of you, but the task reminds me of John 21:25, “If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” I would like to tell you what your relationship and kindness have meant to me and how you have been the hands and feet of Jesus, but I can’t. There isn’t enough time, or enough paper.
And I guess that is the tragedy in moving-– that each precious friend that I’ve encountered may not know that I still think of you, and I’m still encouraged. Your memory will flash through my head, and it still makes me smile.
So if you are reading this, know that I remember you, I love you, and you hold a special place in my heart. I’m no Paul or Timothy but I understand more every day Philippians 1:3-4, “I thank my God every time I remember you.
And I remember you a lot.