I woke up this morning missing home. Home to me is both Auburn and Ocean Springs (where I grew up and where my parents live). It’s the townhouse Charlie and I shared, with its cozy kitchen where we’d make pancakes for our friends, its den where some awesome girls would come every week for Bible study, our back porch where I’d read on my lunch break during the spring. It’s going to Tato-Nut with my parents before a morning beach cruise and then having lunch with my grandmother. It’s home. It’s familiar and comforting, and I miss it sometimes.
On our first night in our new apartment in Antioch, I really missed home. It was our first time going straight from one assignment to another and the whirlwind of unfamiliarity overwhelmed me a little bit. Those first few days of a new assignment are tough because we don’t know how it’s going to shake out – will we find friends here? will I find fulfilling volunteer work? will we feel alone?
The reality of starting this all over again in a new place without a refresher in between just wore on me that night. I found myself crying, “I just don’t want to do this anymore – I want to go home, get a job, have non-temporary relationships and a normal routine!” I just wanted my comfort zone back.
“For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” Exodus 14:12
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.” Exodus 14:15
We’ve been reading through the Bible chronologically and are just finishing the story of Israel being delivered from slavery in Egypt and taken to the land that God promised to their fathers. Israel begged God to remove them from Egypt, and He did. Yet when they saw that going into the wilderness had unforeseen challenges, their first reaction was to go back to their former situation. Rather than trust that God had a plan and was clearly working on their behalf, they simply complained and asked to be taken back to the place they had begged to be released from. It was what they knew – where they had grown comfortable – and they preferred it over the challenge of continually trusting God.
Now our time in Auburn was wonderful and certainly something to be missed. But we knew for months that God was calling us to move on from there because He wanted to take us on an adventure to learn more about Him and be put in situations where our faith would have to grow like never before. We were excited at the possibility and often begged Him to make it happen even sooner.
Yet it’s been hard at times to be away from everything we know. It’s been hard to feel in a constant state of transition – especially for a “nester” like myself. But the Lord is showing us that we can’t be like the Israelites. We can’t forget our faith in Him and beg to be taken backwards. When we feel like retreating back to our comfort zone of our old routine and places, we have to remember that instead of crying out to be taken back, we have to move forward in trust.
It seems so obvious when reading about the Israelites. It’s so easy to think, “How stupid can you be? Here is God, moving you forward in His perfect plan and you are whining to go back. Can’t you see what He’s doing and that it’s for your perfect good?”
It’s harder to remember when it’s us and all we want is to call our friends and go to burger night at Niffer’s. But God has so clearly called us here, so clearly moved mountains for us to be here. And that means that “here” is good and His plan for us here is perfect.
I don’t want to miss it while complaining that it’s not what I’m used to – of course it’s not! If it was, why would I need faith and trust? Thank the Lord that He calls us to new places!