Live and leave well

A friend once told me that when their family relocated they knew it was for a short 2 year assignment so they didn’t invest well in relationships. They thought it was pointless since they would leave so quickly. Her advice to me when we moved with our first relocation was to live like we would never leave. We took her advice.

I want to live with no regrets over how I spend my time.

Before we moved from Georgia to Virginia in 2008, I’d registered the boys for sports and we went to church the first week there. Each friendship we formed, we loved like we would have them forever. And some I know we will. Naturally, not all friendships last the distance, but many do.

We moved from Virginia to North Carolina after only 2 1/2 years. It felt longer. The friendships felt like we’d had them longer than a mere 2 years. To the point one of our dearest family friends has visited us every single summer since we left! Amazing.

I grieved after we moved to Charlotte in 2011. It took me weeks to get over having to start over again. But God. I have a lot of “but God” moments in my life.

God brought and multiplied friendships and relationships. He poured out blessings on them to the point of overflowing.

I have no regrets over how we spent our 6 years in North Carolina. Life has been full but not busy. The strange thing is that I feel different as we move into our 3rd relocation. I’m sad over what we are leaving behind, but I’m excited about what God will bring ahead. I know God better now than I did when we arrived. I trust Him more now than I did 6 years ago.

He desires that we abide in Him and live abundant life through Him. No matter where I am or who I’m with, I know my God is with me. I know He is faithful. I know He gives good gifts and delights for us to delight in Him. I know that when I pray for Him to surround us with godly friends, He will answer us in abundance.

When we found out we were moving to Omaha, I told Steve I wanted to leave well. I didn’t want to be so busy preparing to leave that we left no time for the people who made our lives here so full and rich. I’m normally one who will fill a calendar only so full being quite careful to leave plenty of margin. Busyness makes me crazy, and I’m not a good wife or mom when I run with little margin. As we make our exit, we are running with little margin in a good way. We are filling up the time with our people.

Each time we spend with friends in these final weeks, we can’t seem to let it be the last. So we end with a promise to try to squeeze in at least one more. With my girlfriends, we put on the calendar multiple dates. And in between those dates, we are squeezing in coffees, walks, lunches.

God is a relational God and has created us to be in relationship with Him and with others. Friends are a gift from God. Sometimes that gift must be left behind but parts of it will always stay with us. Friends grow and stretch us. They teach us and shape us. They comfort us and entertain us.

In our effort to make the most of the time we have left, we have decided to become hometown tourists while it’s still our home. Seeing the places we’ve not yet seen, visiting our favorites one last time. Soaking up all of it. Every last sip.

Our hearts are full of gratitude for the gifts of time and people. The best part is that the best of this world can’t even come close to comparing to what God has in store for His children in eternity. When I hug my dearest christian friends here in North Carolina, if I never see them again on this earth, I will see them again in eternity. And that is one reason it is worth it to live like you are staying forever. Because in a way, we are. Only better. In Heaven.