By Kathryn Haueisen
After four moves in five years, I wrote a book entitled Married and Mobile to help other trailing spouses realize they weren’t alone in the seemingly endless migration from place to place. That was many moves ago. Some of us seem destined to be permanent newcomers. How do we establish continuity and stability in our faith lives when we’re so often relocating?
Even if we manage to stay at one address for many years, other aspects of our lives may change. Neighborhoods -- and neighbors, work assignments, and family members can all be in flux. Finding stability in the midst of chronic change can be daunting.
Living with change isn’t new. Early in Genesis we read that Abraham and Sarah migrated far from all that was familiar to them. Three generations later their great-grandson Joseph, against his will, was shipped off to Egypt by his jealous brothers. Abraham became the founding faith father of three major world religions. Joseph eventually became a highly trusted and respected Egyptian leader. While we might prefer fewer changes in our lives, Scripture assures us that God works through people in the midst of change.
Trusting that God will go with me, I’ve developed some devotional habits I can take wherever I go.
Staying with familiar spiritual routines may take a little time and discipline, but creative thinking should yield ways to maintain habits that nurture our spiritual well-being, regardless of the changes around us.
Ultimately, any long-term stability we’ll know in this lifetime comes in staying focused on Jesus Christ -- the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Kathryn Haueisen is a retired ELCA pastor and a newlywed. Her retirement plans are to enjoy being married again, spend time with family, volunteer, and write. She lives in Houston, TX, but is willing to travel to just about anywhere the opportunity to do so comes along.
Credit: "Establishing Stability amid Change" by Kathryn Haueisen. From September/October 2015 Alive Now. Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room.
"Discovery Weekend changed me. I now have a better and stronger relationship with God because of it. Also, it has changed our church because people from all grades got closer together." (Discovery Weekend is an Upper Room spiritual formation experience for middle schoolers).