Many of us may move frequently from our city or state, leaving one chapter of our lives to begin another. We sincerely never know if we may again encounter characters from our book of life. For this reason, it is important that the footprints we leave be smooth and gentle, not robust and deep.
When I was a new bride, my greatest desire was that I be able to remain in the same town for the duration of my life; putting down deep roots and stability. Because my parents had uprooted us countless times during my upbringing, I envied the fact my then husband, Charles had lived in the same house since he was a young boy. He had friends whom he had known as a child, teen, college student and adult.
However, that dream would never be a reality, but merely a desire. Charles changed careers numerous times, each time abruptly uprooting us. Whereas, he had a built-in community; his colleagues, it was necessary that with each move, I start anew. I had the task of locating a new job, settling into a new house and community. Such moves also necessitated changing all aspects of our lives; church, physicians and as importantly making new friends.
With each move, the friendships were more difficult and never permanent. No matter how diligently I tried to maintain those friendships, I had been a newcomer and now was merely as a falling leaf. I was there for a season, but replaced by new leaves which would bud the next season.
Having moved from and returning to my current community five times, a couple of years ago I had the privilege of again encountering one of these characters from my life’s book; a wonderful and lovely lady, “Mrs. C”, my children’s grade school principal. Little did I know when they left that school decades ago, that I would be sitting at her table, enjoying a Christmas luncheon with her, not once, but twice.
I reminisce of residing in our home and community those many years ago when our children were young. I never imagined when I frequently interacted with Mrs. “C” while my children’s “homeroom mom” that years later I would be joining her in friendship in her home.
Ironically, as I opened the door of that same house where our children spent those youthful years, unbeknownst to me, I was also frequently warmly, welcoming into our home Charles’ long-term mistress, Debbie. Each time Charles relocated, I was uprooted, yet his roots with Debbie remained intact from 40 years prior. I have often asked God why I didn’t know. What would I have done differently when opening our door to Debbie, had I known she would be the one Charles would love?
I’m reminded God doesn’t always desire our choices as humans, but He allows it. With our choices are consequences. Hebrews 10:36, NIV, “you need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”