For most of my life, I have had the privilege (or curse) of living in a lot of different places. As a child, I never really thought about it too much as we moved fairly often. My dad worked for Santa Fe Railroad and was asked to move almost as much as if he were still in the military. It never really crossed my mind that there was anything different about it until I met my spouse. His family had lived in the same town his entire life. In fact, his mother and her siblings were born and raised in the same community.
After we were married, I said that I really did not want my children to have to move as often as I did as a child. However, looking back on that time helps me realize those moves shaped me into the person I am and God has used those moves in my life. Now - just because I said I did not want my children to have to move that often does not mean that was the case. They will both attest to the fact that we moved them almost as often as I was moved as a child. When we called a family meeting, the question was never "Are we moving?" It was "Where are we moving?" We lived in the small farming community my spouse grew up in for several years. Our daughter was 6 and in kindergarten and our son was just a year old when we left that town. Once we left there, we moved every 2 years or so until we moved back to the Panhandle of Texas. We have now been here 5 years and counting, which is a record for us!!!
I tried to encourage my children in all of the moves about the new places they got to experience and the new people they got to meet, but the moves were still traumatic on all of us! The one move that was hardest for me was when we left Justin (just north of Fort Worth, TX) and moved to Nebraska! We had only lived there 3 years but it had truly felt like home to us. We had a wonderful church family, good friends, family in the area and a tremendous variety of activities at our fingertips. I still view that church as my home church. We keep in contact with several of our friends from that time as they are really more like family.
In fact, that is what started my thoughts for tonight's post. I got the privilege of visiting with one of those friends this past weekend. We have not seen each other since my daughter's wedding in August of 2006 but we were able to pick up right where we left off. It was such a sweet time of fellowship and sharing. I really hated for it to end. I had not realized how much I had missed those precious friends until I sat talking with her. What blessings and encouragement each one was and is to our family. When God brings special friends into your life, you need to cherish and protect them. Pray for them regularly when God brings them to your mind and never take them for granted.