As I prepare for our Christmas Cards to be sent out, I realize how many of my friends have moved in the last 6 months - 1 year. Seriously, it is over half! Not only does it make me work in a frenzy to stay up to date on their current addresses, but it also makes me think about how transient my generation can be. Moving for jobs or further education grants us lots of opportunities, but at the cost of leaving familiar territory - friends and family and land that we've called "home."
Tim and I are obviously no different from our friends. We've moved apartments (and sometimes cities) every year for the past 7 years. We have grown accustomed to change and have learned not to get attached to an apartment.
It makes me wonder what the effects of constant transition will have on our generation. Will we suffer from chronic anxiety over not knowing what is next? Will our families have a harder time staying involved in each other's lives? Will we ever feel grounded and a sense of belonging to a community and land?
These are certainly some of my fears with constant transition.
Tim and I moved to San Francisco in June and were quickly greeted with open arms by my new Presbyterian minister colleagues and Mission Bay Community Church. We are lucky. We found a place to live and after a few months of excruciating anxiety over what work Tim would find, God placed Tim in a wonderful work environment working on things that bring him home happy and fulfilled. My heart is BEYOND grateful for this gift.
Still, it hasn't been until recently that I've felt a little of what I've been yearning for. Just over Thanksgiving I was sharing with Tim how I finally feel grounded here. I'm just beginning to feel like I know more or less what to expect from work, from this city, from new friends. I feel like I'm finding my rhythm here and don't wake each day with anxiety of what will come next. Each day I fall deeper in love with my church community and am amazed by how God works through them. I've been able to enjoy this city, this land more as my home. God is granting us a sense of belonging here.
The more I lean into my experience of this transition and the deepening of my faith through it, I'm convinced that our transient generation has a merriad of opportunities to grow closer to God. Several wise people told me and Tim that as we moved far from family we would need to cling to God and to each other. This has been so true. My transition of uncertainty and excitement threw me closer to God as I was more aware of my dependency on God to provide for our most basic needs. It brought me closer to Tim as we had to voice our fears and expectations of each other and of the transition in order to make it through.
As I address cards, I pray for all my friends and all people going through transition. I'm acutely aware of the roller coaster of emotions - balancing exciting new opportunities with the sadness of leaving familiarity. I pray that in the moments of loneliness and fear, we seek out intentional community that grounds us in this new place and helps us to look beyond ourselves to find the inner peace and sense of belonging we so deeply need.