By: Russ Geyer
As I sit here this Memorial Day, I am reflecting on the paths I have traveled, and the relationships forged along my journey in the military. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years and learned reassignment to another base/post (whether by your choice or the military) is a guarantee. In my career, I transitioned to a new duty assignment fourteen times.
People associate transitions with a military member, but a move is a move. Whether it is your first move going to college, joining the military, or your company transferring you to another region, moving is part of life, and relocating can be a challenging task regardless of where you are in life.
Have hope. Scripture is full of wisdom and encouragement for you as you transition. The first promise that comes to mind is that God is steadfast and unchanging. In the chaotic world, life has many very daunting uncertainties. Moving doesn’t have to be one of them. In Hebrews 13:8, we are reminded “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and tomorrow and forever.” Have courage and faith that in our world of constant changes, our God never changes.
As I reflect on my past transitions, I offer a few thoughts to guide you on your next journey.
Simply pray. Ask for God’s guidance as you transition. Pray that God will use you in this new adventure as an instrument for the glory of His Kingdom. In Proverbs 16:3 King Solomon says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” As you serve God in the move, commit the transition to Him. He will do the rest.
Planning is essential to any mission and moving is certainly key to the success of your next life mission. The Armed Forces work hard to help prepare their forces to move. They have published an excellent website to help military folks in the process of moving, but I think it can be used by anyone (just note, on the website the locations are only military installations).
I believe that a critical part that is missing from their planning is the spiritual aspect. I encourage you in the planning process to begin looking for a church before you arrive. Check with friends or your future work colleagues where the best churches are in the area and get plugged in immediately. As General Marshall aptly stated, “The soldier’s heart, the soldier’s spirit, the soldier’s soul, are everything. Unless the soldier’s soul sustains him, he cannot be relied on and will fail himself and his commander and his country in the end,” and, “Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars.” Leaders in the military have recognized the importance of spiritual health and want their warriors spiritually ready to respond to our nation’s call to action. Spiritual health is now stacked up equally with physical health and mental health.
As you prepare to move, it is especially important to prepare yourself and your family for that next move. I remember my first move. My wife and I were only married for about 18 months, and we were moving to an overseas location. Our hearts sank when we were notified of that assignment and a thousand things began consuming our thoughts. It was the days before the advent of personal computers, and you relied on the word of the local human resources and logistics personnel on how to get from point A to point B. We made mistakes along the way, but at the end of the day we came out a much wiser and stronger couple.
Involve your family in the process. If everyone is excited about the move, then it likely will be successful. One good memory of this partnership in our family was when we received orders abroad. While discussing the move around the dinner table with the family, our youngest daughter (a junior in high school at the time) was somewhat excited. She immediately asked if we were going back to our previous duty assignment. I hesitantly said, “No, baby girl, we are moving to Germany.” She said, “Great, when do we move?” She met the man of her dreams and was married a few years later.
I hope these thoughts bring you some encouragement. If you find yourself new to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and looking for a church home, I invite you to join us at Mosaic Church Gulf Coast. No matter where you move or what stage of life you are in, I pray, “the God of hope fill[s] you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13.
God bless you as you “Move On.”