Every month we bring you the personal and encouraging story of someone who has been uprooted by a move.
by Isabelle, a military spouse
Having moved so many times in my life, [After the Boxes Are Unpacked] has helped me understand that I was not alone and my feelings were totally normal. I wish I had read it years ago because it would have helped me to place my fears into the right focus – eyes on God.
Being married to a military officer for 13 years now, and having done corporate moves prior to military life, I didn’t have the choice to live where I wanted to be. I had a career and a good paying job, a network of friends, an amazing church, and a great support group. But each time it was all taken away in a flash.
We would get orders every time I would feel comfortable and settled. Each move was different, but the feelings were the same:
Overwhelmed with a sense of loss as if I was grieving the death of a loved one
Loneliness, even in a big crowd
A sense of not belonging
A search for identity and purpose
Dwelling on the past instead of seeing God’s beauty
Comparing everything with the previous place
Feeling of exhaustion by the long journey ahead.
We carry so many luggage tags when we are uprooted, as Susan described them, that I realized that I needed to remove them in order to move forward with faith. At times, it felt like God was punishing me or wasn’t there at all.
As a Christian wife, I know I need to do what is necessary to maintain composure, acceptance, and peace within the home. However, my emotional baggage gets in the way and I become a different person. I can’t function properly and I can’t sleep. My brain gets foggy and my memory plays tricks on me. The stress level takes over my life and everything gets out of control.
Also, when I became a mom, the stress of moving was on a totally different emotional scale. That’s why this book is truly a survival guide, because Susan tells us to let go of the past, trust God, and move forward by giving us the tools and the right scriptures along the way.
The Lord will continually guide you...and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden” (Isaiah 58:11).
Susan Miller has given me a sense of belonging and a purpose I didn’t see before. Only in Christ can we find our true identity and not in our appearance or status, as she writes it. Also, I realized that I needed to live above my circumstances and to live in contentment and peace wherever God placed us. God was always here with me, I just didn’t see Him!
I will definitely carry this book with me for the next moves, so Susan can help me navigate the uncharted waters. And I know the Lord will be alongside me!
So my new address is Christ wherever He puts me.