Left Behind: The Other Side of Moving Season
By Margaret Franklin
When asked the question, “What causes you the most fear?” snakes, spiders, and most things creepy & crawling leap to my mind. Lord forbid I unexpectedly come face to face with a snake! Imagine the shrill of my scream when I discovered that lizards, when surprised, do leap!
If I am completely honest and real though, what scares me most is being alone.
I am fine to spend time by myself. However, in the spirit of being real, I confess I would much rather spend my time with someone. You know, the whole plight of an extrovert thing!
I am not talking about being alone in the physical sense, however.
Today, I am talking about that deep, heart feeling of being alone. Alone regardless of who you are with or where you are. Alone even when surrounded by people. This type of alone is akin to desiring a drink of water while swimming in the vast ocean. Water all around you yet no way to quench your deep thirst.
We were created to be in relationship.
Relationship with our Creator as well as relationship with one another. Our spirits long for it. I long for that sense of relationship– of being known, supported, encouraged, loved. “Alone” goes against that longing which our Heavenly Father purposely placed within our hearts. “Alone” is counter to how we were created (Genesis 2:18).
Emotions can rise and swirl when this longing for relationship is challenged. Loneliness sets in and can begin to lead us down a rabbit hole of deception. Ideas can take root and tell us that our feelings of loneliness mean that we are alone.
Today, I am challenged to yield to this very real struggle between emotion and reality. As I share this with you, moving trucks surround me. Half of the families on my sweet little street will be moving this summer… HALF! This does not even account for those friends moving who do not live on my street. This is the reality of this military life. Moving happens. Lots of moving!
This year, however, there is no moving truck coming to my house. I am not one of the half leaving this street I call home. I am one who is left behind. Left behind with not only empty places on the street where these precious people once lived, but with empty places that are now also in my life and heart.
These are some of the people who fill my daily life with support, encouragement, laughter, joy, love, and even a cup of whatever was missing from my pantry. Their leaving creates a physical and emotional hole. I know the heart connections will remain and can grow. The bonds of friendship are not diminished by miles.
The truth is, however, I just don’t want to do life in this place without them. They are part of what makes this place comfortable… good… sweet. They are part of what makes it home.
So often in this season, we recognize the hard of moving… leaving… transitioning… and recreating home in a new place. Yet, as I sit here in this same place, I struggle with the emotions. I struggle with the hard of not moving. The hard of being the one “left behind.”
Left behind to find a new normal and fill the holes in my daily life. This side of the moving is not easy and, when you are the one left behind, it stinks. I struggle with emotions that tell me I am lonely or will be lonely regardless of all those who still surround me. Emotions that lead me to feel unsettled and a bit unbalanced. Emotions that entice me to follow them down as they spiral from truth to deception. A nagging sense of loneliness that tempts my heart to believe that I am alone.
Yet, as I indulged in a little “my friends are moving” pity party, I looked out my door to the empty houses that were just days ago filled with the precious families of precious heart friends. In this quiet moment, the Lord sweetly whispered Truth to my heart and reminded me…
“Be strong and courageous. Don’t fear or tremble before them, because the LORD your God will be the One who keeps on walking with you—He won’t leave you or abandon you.”
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me;”
“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.”
“The LORD… will be with you. He won’t abandon you or leave you. So, don’t be afraid or terrified.”
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.”
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Friends, hear Him as He speaks powerful Truth… we are NEVER alone. Regardless of how we feel, He is always with us! Emotions are fickle and so easily swayed and stirred. Emotions can lie and twist themselves around our hearts in an attempt to deceive.
Neighbors change. Life can change. Emotions change. But the Lord and His promises NEVER change.
I may feel lonely, but I am not alone! He will never move. He will never leave. We will always feel as though there are holes in our lives when change comes – physical and emotional holes. He, however, lovingly created us with such detail that He fills each and every hole, each and every need.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
He is our Faithful Friend… Abba Father… Lover of our soul… Mighty Counselor… Strong Tower… Emmanuel. He is God WITH us!
I love how, when in worship, we find the Lord speaking to the cries of our prayers. While worshipping one morning, I was struck with the truth in the song “Never Alone,” by Brad & Rebekah. Through this song, I heard with fresh ears the truth of His promises. He will never leave me. Nothing can separate me from Him. Nothing can come between us.
There is not one moment that He is not with us. He speaks straight to our hearts and restores what is needed. He knows! Friends, take a moment to listen and let this simple but powerful Truth sink into the deep places of your heart…regardless of which side of moving you find yourself: You are never alone!
Because of His Big Love ~
Shared with permission by www.plantingroots.net
Margaret Franklin is a wife, mother, friend, lover of words and follower of Jesus. Connecting with people and connecting people with the Lord are her passions. The adventures of Army life and serving in PWOC since 2002 have allowed that passion to grow as well as provided her with great personal and spiritual growth. Margaret is a co-founder of the Gather conference (www.gatherconference.org). Margaret and her husband Herb have been married for 28 years and have 2 amazing sons, 1 fabulous daughter, and have recently added a wonderful daughter-in-love to their family. They are currently living the military life while serving the Lord wherever He desires to send them.
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