In 2016, my family and I moved to my husband’s hometown in the Midwest. While I already had friends and family in my new home, many times I felt, and honestly still feel, out of place.
In 24 hours, I was living in a new place, driving on different streets, and worshipping at a new church. I knew that God wanted us to make this move. I felt like Abraham when God called him to move from Ur to Canaan, but at least I knew exactly where I was going.
What I didn’t know were the emotions that would show up when I got there. Homesickness wasn’t on my moving checklist. I hadn’t packed for feeling out of place. We were moving by faith, knowing that wherever we were planted, we would be available for God to use us.
But change and growth isn’t easy. Otherwise, everyone would do it. Everyone would have finished their book, completed their marathon or opened their restaurant. Not only is change not easy, but not everyone will want to join you for the ride.
We often think going from glory to glory is linear. But the truth is, sometimes we will take two steps forward and one step back.
I heard a message a few weeks ago from Steven Furtick, the pastor of Elevation Church, teaching the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis. I have heard this story too many times to count, but never heard this observation.
In the first chapter of Genesis, God created everything and it was good. In the last chapter of Genesis, after all Joseph had gone through in his life, Genesis 50 says God used it for good. Joseph was envied by his brothers, sold into slavery, and wrongfully put in prison.
From Genesis 1 to Genesis 50, we read about the fall of man, the first murder, the flood, the tower of Babel, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet despite all of the disaster and tragedy:
God never stopped being good.
He is faithful and will finish the work he begins in us (Phil 1:6). Just because he doesn’t finish it on our time schedule, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. When we are feeling out of place, we have to remember where we fit in God’s story.
If you don’t know your place in his story, let me give you an abbreviated preview.
You are an heir of Jesus (Galatians 3:26)
You are free in Jesus (Galatians 4:7)
You are precious in God’s eyes (Isaiah 43:4)
You are God’s special possession (1 Peter 2:9)
You are a friend of God (John 15:13)
You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)