Moving On

www.zernahfaith.blogspot.comMy family has moved. We've moved to another temporary home. This is our sixth house since my husband and I got married. God has provided a better place for our big family to stay here in Russia. We were too cramped up in our previous apartment. Thank God, kids can go wild now over the space that allows them to move their active bodies.

But not only have I moved with my family physically, I am also ready to move on emotionally.

For the past two years since we got here in Russia, my family had been on limbo. We waited for me to stay. We waited to get on with life. And as we waited, we got tossed about as storms came, uncertainties peaked, I had to leave my children, a daughter was given back to us, and we suffered the loss of both of my parents. Our faith was put to test, our characters shaped. There was no question who we really are. Storms do that. They have a way of stripping us of our donned masks and exposing the real person within. Fickle or faithful?

Being new in my second foreign home, I have been most vulnerable. I am an alien with zero percent knowledge of the language. I am ignorant of how life in Russia goes. I am not in control of my own and my family's affairs or pursuits. Most especially, I am a dependent with children who are dependent on me for their care.

This is something new to me. Something I am not ready or have not planned at all. My whole being protests. I am a middle child and have been independent in thinking. And I have fought hard to be independent in my decisions and actions, too.

But now, I'm moving on.

We packed. Slowly we did. A box there, a bag here. A mammoth furniture there; teeny, tiny gadgets there. I am surprised at how much we have accumulated in our very short life as a family together.

I spent quite a long time looking at photographs and was filled with memories of better days and some tough times that we together had overcome. It was quite pleasant to reminisce on those times that I didn't want to move on to the next task.

My husband found, under the sofa bed while we were dismantling it, a long yellow comb we bought in Korea for W1,000 and he was like he found a treasure. And there were the toys the kids thought were gone forever but were instead buried under all the massive furnitures. They were ecstatic like they just bought new toys. And there were those things that haven't been used for the past two years but were just stored up to oblivion. We have to ask questions. Should this go to the new house or the trash? Do the kids need this? Are we accumulating junk or memories? Should I pack or should I throw?

Yes, moving on takes quite a lot of energy and effort, lots of reminiscing and letting go. Moving on takes gumption to decide to take memories and lessons and leave behind junk and any encumbrances.

For our family, it means moving away from the two years of negative emotions that the circumstances of those years have brought. It also means taking on new challenges. It is time to let go and move forward to where God wants us.

For me, it is a time to resolve to be willing to worship and serve God in any field, environment or capacity that He gives. I have been longing to have my whole family join me. And I am praying.

But it hasn't been easy keeping a Christian home in a very secular society, when even our closest relatives don't acknowledge God. I have resented this. But now I see that Jesus would have done things differently. The Sun of Righteousness doesn't turn up the heat. He warms up the heart, even a frozen heart.

I hope to reaffirm our commitment to our God. We have chosen to worship and serve Him before we have moved here and the challenges came; and I think it's time to put Him in His rightful place if ever we have knocked Him down from His rightful throne in our hearts and lives.

It's time to move on. And I'm moving along with God to guide me. My family will have to live with that and, hopefully, get to live with Him, too.

Of all the wedding presents given during our wedding, I most especially appreciate a wall hanging with a verse from the Book of Joshua that said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). In moving from Korea, we have lost it in transit as we sent it through post. It never got to us here. (Update: It did came and is hanging right by the entrance to our home.) But whether its hanging on the wall or not, that verse has been written in my heart and my prayer is that I can say it with my whole family. That as long as we live, whether there's a wall decor reminding us of our decision, or whether we feel like doing it or not, we will choose to serve our King, the One who made the heaven and earth, the One who made us and have given each of us to each other, the One who moves our being for His glory, and the One who goes with us wherever we go.

With Paul, I say, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:14). And this is what I have to do. "Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before" (Philippians 4:13).

Maybe you may not be moving anywhere physically, but as life goes on, we have to keep moving forward. Let's not get stuck in the past or the what-ifs. Life is not there. There may be a time or place when life seems to be in a limbo but there is no need to stay there. God has designed for us to keep moving. And perhaps, it's time to move on. To sort. To pack. Whatever you choose to bring along, don't forget to take Jesus with you. He's the nicest friend one can ever have. Anywhere. Everywhere.

I may be an alien, but I don't have to be friendless. There may be a language barrier, but as I've mentioned in my previous post Speak Love, there is a way of communicating beyond languages. Heart speaks to heart. We can speak love. Besides, I can always learn. Also, I find the way of life in Russia interesting, and I think it would help to accept that the Russian way may be different from what I'm used to or wanted. I'm willing to move on. I'm ready to make memories. I'm ready to live life as it is, and not the what-ifs. I'm taking God's hand to tackle on with enthusiasm anything that He gives.

I'm moving on.

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