I was told when we began our MAF career that MAF really stood for “Move Again, Friend”! Because we are an organization that specializes in aviation and technology, moving can become a way of life. Our family has been with MAF for almost 17 years, and during that time we have lived in twelve different abodes, not to mention all the places we’ve stayed during furloughs. But just because we move a lot doesn’t mean it’s easy.
As we moved again in January from Wamena to Sentani (Indonesia), I tried to focus on some of the things I’ve learned about transition over the years. I’m no expert at it. In fact, I really don’t like change. But here are some things God has taught me:
- Give it time. For our family to really feel settled somewhere it usually takes about two years. By then we have developed deeper relationships and feel connected
- Leave and Arrive. One of our managers once shared that in order to thrive in our new location we have to emotionally “leave” and “arrive.” If we never truly accept the fact that we’ve left our last place, we can’t emotionally invest in the new one. (Abraham is a good example)
- It will be painful. Leaving close relationships behind does hurt. Although there are many ways to stay in touch these days, our relationships do change when we don’t have daily face-to-face contact anymore. I’ve had to learn how to accept the change, even as I try to stay in touch.
- Keep your heart open. It’s tempting to close off our hearts because we experience the pain of transition again and again, but in doing so we also close off our life in our new place. I’ve learned I need to keep my heart open for the new relationships God has for me.
May the Lord bless you as you follow him in your daily lives and your moves!