I loved growing up in Delaware, Ohio. It was a small college town of about 15,000 people when I was in junior high. Our folks have lived in Delaware for over 50 years and are still there. It’s a nice little town.
I loved raising my boys in Westerville, Ohio. It was a little bigger than Delaware but still a very nice place to live. We lived there almost 20 years and have some great memories.
For the past 10 years we’ve lived in Urbandale, Iowa. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was move away from everything and everyone I knew. I was sure that I would never be completely happy so far from home. But God surprised me.
God has made Iowa home. We’ve spent these 10 years raising our younger boys to be young men here. Some of them have lived in Iowa longer than they lived in Ohio. We all got attached to some very special people. We’ve loved it here too. The fact is, you can be happy anywhere if you choose to be. It’s really about the people. Your relationships are what makes a place home, not your surroundings.
But now it’s time to move on. Next week I will begin a new adventure. I will have the opportunity to watch my grandchildren grow up in Clearwater, Florida.
I have a choice to make. I can spend all my time grieving over what I’ll leave behind or I can embrace the new chapter ahead of me. As we get closer to the final day in Iowa, I am reminded that when we leave here it will be with a different opportunity than we had coming from Ohio. With the addition of Facebook in my life, I will be able to take all of my friends with me! Isn’t that generous of me? I’m taking all of you to Florida!
The truth is this. The real friends you make in your life will always be with you, no matter where you live. The miles or the years make no difference. I hope you know what I mean. I hope everyone has at least one friend that you can pick up right where you left off no matter how long it is between the times you are together or talk on the phone. Those people are precious gifts. I find myself incredibly blessed to count many friends as friends for life.
And next week, I will be given the opportunity to begin to add Florida friends to that list. The only thing that will hold me back is my own hesitance to step outside my comfort zone. That saying, “bloom where you’re planted” is really true. I have to allow myself to blossom and grow and not allow the temptation to become a wallflower to limit what God wants to do.
So, the truck comes tomorrow and we pull out 2 days later. And I am blessed to know that you are all coming along for this adventure!
Perhaps this post has made you think about a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Maybe today would be a good day to make a fresh connection. Perhaps hearing from you is just what they need today.
Hebrews10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.