Originally published Wednesday, 17 April 2013.
Have you ever found yourself in a new place in life and completely nostalgic for the comforts of familiarity?
A few short months after Ron and I were married we moved to his childhood home in Florida. Having lived solely in Alabama for the first 21 years of my life (18 of those in my small hometown boasting two red lights and a McDonald's) I was excited about the move, but unaware of the challenges of change.
Moving to the beach intrigued me. Continuing my studies in communication disorders at a new university excited me. However, I was unaware of the differences in culture, accent, and even socioeconomic differences that awaited.
When change happens we crave the small, steady denominators that made home home.
I missed knowing the cashiers at the grocery store, seeing people in Walmart with whom I attended school, and familiar faces at church that held common memories in time and space. It took me many years to embrace my new identity as a Floridian.
I was focused on yesterday and the hopes of one day which would bring a return move home to Alabama. I had little desire to explore the greatness of the area in which God had placed me.
Unfortunately my inability to embrace the changes in my life perhaps robbed me of a portion of present joy.
Today, almost 11 years later, I love the area I live in. My family enjoys the recreational parks, habitat preserves, the beach, and the museums and sites near our home.
Within the last year or two I have often wondered why I spent much time and energy trying to make my current home more like my childhood and less like the newness of life that God had placed me in. I missed opportunities to enjoy God's creation in my own backyard because I was longing for the backyard 500 miles away in which I grew up.
Are you in a new location be it geographical, vocational, or missional? Maybe the novelty of your experience leaves you longing for the familiarity of yesterday. Take heart my friend! There is good to be gained from every new venture. Look around you today and purpose to find a good to be grateful for. Gradually your gratitude will give you a change in perspective. Your eyes will see not as a pilgrim longing to turn back, but as one set to forge ahead to the lasting pilgrimage of the celestial city. (See Pilgrim's Progress)