*This post is part of this week's Loving and Leaving Well Series, where we're talking about lessons learned from leaving the places and people you love. Missed a part? Catch up here!There are some stereotypical implications of "leaving well."
Making sure all your present dirty laundry has been cleaned and aired out, you’ve gutted all your past jumbles & messes, you’ve left your rented home fresh and ready for the succeeding tenants, and you’ve left yourself in good standing with your landlord and a good reputation with your neighbors.
But I also think leaving well has more future emotional implications, as a woman, than we actually recognize. In leaving a past behind, a future needs to be prepared for. It’s more than physically being ready & making sure your new place of occupancy is prepared. It's also being emotionally ready and your place of spiritual rest prepared.
Two things have helped me. The first is practical, the second is spiritual.
In my 10 years of marriage we’ve moved 9 times and in those 9 times there hasn’t been once I anticipated—sometimes it was better, often it was harder.
When we moved out of the country, we did not have an opportunity to preview the home we were renting and we ended up in a very bad part of town & it took us months to meet people and get acquainted there. Those days were dark. Having moved from sunny So-cal to a cold snowy storm climate was difficult emotionally and psychologically. Yet what always helped me was never allowing myself to slip (and this fall can happen very quickly…within minutes) into a mindset where I was allowed to feel sorry for myself; because it was easy.
When the world around you constantly reminds you that you deserve better than pretty much any circumstance you’re in, complaining always seems justified. Usually complainers busy themselves with finding something they’re dissatisfied with, something they resent.
The second, spiritual reality, has helped me far more than the physical: I’ve seen the immense calling my husband has upon his life as a New Testament scholar and pastor. It excites me to be his wife and I’m privileged to be part of it. The majority of times we’ve moved has been due to his schooling in order to equip him for his task at hand. If ever I felt unsure about our situation or place that we’re living in, I will quickly remind myself how temporary our situation will be and the fact that it’s for the equipping of my husband to the Lord’s work for the future. What a noble and undeserving honor that’s been entrusted to me. Even typing this excites me for our next endeavor this summer when we move to Los Angeles to let the past 10 years work themselves out (finally!).
If and when lack of contentment arises, I refuse to allow my complaining and pity party stand in the way of where the Lord has called and placed us or to stand in the way of my husband’s pursuit of his career and desire for our life. Although we are in this together and have the same desires for ministry and work, that doesn’t guarantee that there will not be strife and discontentment along the way. But, despite that, I know I have the opportunity to chose which way I want to mentally arrive, wherever the next road may lead.