Our family is moving again – as was planned. This will be the third time moving back to our house, to a “home base” as you might call it. If you’ve followed my blog from the beginning, you would know I began writing this blog when I faced major upheaval in significant areas of my life (The Rock Tumbler), and that I move frequently (See About and Let Me be your Home). ‘Where are you from?’ is never a simple question to answer. The short one is ‘Texas’, or the place I last lived.
Due in part to my life’s frequent relocations, building a community of friends is a challenge because it takes time to develop enough shared experiences, to build trust, and to get to know people. I’ve learned how to get involved just enough to not be too lonely, to appreciate those people who share of themselves, and who allow me to share with them. It’s a vulnerable state of living to always be the “new girl”.
I just want to share two quick things here that I’ve learned while living in Williamsburg, Virginia. This small, retirement community, centered on America’s colonial history, is quite relevant in today’s modern world.
First, I’ve learned how important it is to maintain one’s health now, so that I can still kick butt when I’m 70 and older. Just because there are a lot of older people here does not mean people aren’t engaged in athletic activities, like running, yoga, cycling, and so on. Watching women several decades my senior working out with better strength, cardio, and endurance was inspiring. I want to be that person when I get there.
Second, the Christian community here is thriving, and God is moving across so many lines. I attended the Williamsburg Community Chapel (The Chapel), and the opportunities to engage across the community are phenomenal – intergenerational and racial diversity are celebrated assets. One such opportunity is a collaboration with the Historic First Baptist Church of Williamsburg. This church was officially established in 1776, by slaves, and is still vibrant and active in the community. These two churches are working together for the Williamsburg community to make things better. I had the privilege to attend and meet several members of this church last summer and was overwhelmed with the spirit of unity among their members. I am so encouraged to witness how God is moving in these two amazing churches, and I imagine the impact this collaboration will have on their community, and throughout the Christian family.
As we leave the small town of Williamsburg and return to the crowded and fast-paced Northern Virginia area, I wonder what the next year will bring. It’s another short-term and temporary move. I know how easy it is to get caught up in work and worries, to not engage with others on a meaningful level. We’ve lived there several times, and each time is a new experience. Things change so quickly, that each time is like moving to a new place. Will old acquaintances be welcoming? Will I need to start new? I expect it will be a mixture of both.
Pastor Travis Simone of The Chapel wrapped up the sermon series of the Kingdom Mission by talking about what partnering with God looks like. To my amazement, he pointed out that the mission involved partnering and leaving. I’m leaving Williamsburg, but I’m leaving having been strengthened by the community and partnership of the many believers at The Chapel and others in the community.
I’m moving back to Northern Virginia. We typically stay only a few years at a time, and that hinders the ability to create lasting friendships. Each time has had a significant atmosphere and set of friends/experiences. I wonder what God has planned for this next stay. So, I’m moving back while still “moving forward in faith“.