My new sister friend inspired the title. I am ready for her to move closer to me. We shall see. Distance ain’t no thang though. I talk to her plenty and will see her frequently enough before she makes the move.
But it made me think about the moves that I’ve made.
I was forced to leave home as a child. My grandfather moved to pastor a church. My grandmother moved and eventually ended up ill. It was hard for my grandfather to pastor a church and take care of my grandmother. My mother’s career was geared towards individuals with the same illness my grandmother had.
We were supposed to move home after a year so my mother could marry her fiancé. It was bittersweet that they didn’t get married. Lol. More bitter than sweet because we stayed put. But I doubt that change was why we stayed.
Within months of arriving, my grandmother got worse and spent a lot of time in the hospital. She eventually passed. I don’t know why we didn’t leave then. And I don’t know why, unlike my mother’s sister, brother-in-law, and nieces, we didn’t leave after he decided to remarry (I just said it that way. Them’s my people!).
The ONLY thing I can chalk it up to is the will of God for the call on my life. Nothing else makes it make sense. And chiiiii. I need some sense for all of the lives I’ve lived since we left home.
He was a different kind of pastor than I was used to. I experienced culture shock at home, at church, and at school. My mother was different once she was around them on the regular unlike when we lived a lil over an hour away from them back home.
My mother and sister ended up wanting to leave his church for a litany, variety, multiple reasons. I forced/begged them to stay. And then I decided that I had had enough so I left first.
I was looking for the church I left. It was more home than home. It was so loving and we had a family. Not to mention the Bible teaching we received there. My forever pastor, who God has called home but I will honor until there is no more breath left in my body, created a gold standard that I have chased since I left my grandfather’s church. Fortunately, 18 years later, I have found what my heart and soul longed for. God is so faithful and loving. Sheesh. I gotta move on or I’ll get lost in the sauce.
It was more of the same at that church. I was also staying put in an effort to improve my relationship with my mother. And ya know, in state colleges are cheaper than out of state. Because my father offered to move me and told me there were schools back home.
I went to another church. By outward appearance of the daughter of the pastors I met in one of my college classes, I should have been going somewhere like home. Beware of sheep in wolves clothing (das a Scripture to look up. I’m on my computer again.). Cuz chiiiii. I think that was the worst of all of the churches I attended. My God from glory. That is definitely an appropriate pause. Haha. Cuz what I could, and have, said. Thank God for growth.
I went to another church. It was even more extreme in some regards than all of the others. But definitely nowhere near as bad as the worst one.
Within months of joining that church, I left my mother’s house but stayed local. I tried to let my pastor’s wife know what was up. She wasn’t hearing it. She told me to go home and love my mother. I did.
I told people at my grandfather’s church what was up. They made me the responsible party in the relationship and never took me to him though they didn’t think what was going on was right.
I tried to talk to my pastor at the church I went to after I left my grandfather’s. I don’t remember the exact words but I know I walked away feeling unseen, unheard, and like he chose my mother’s side.
I don’t fully understand why parents are given so much benefit of the doubt. I guess there is this residual thought from slavery that they adult or the one in the position of power (slave master) is the one who is right. I guess too because of one of the Commandments. I can’t go down this rabbit hole. It was and is a lot.
I will say here, God respects us and requires respect. Parent child relationships should mirror all of the examples of how God relates to us and what is specifically outlined. Because, contrary to trash popular and colloquial belief, we do not belong to our parents and they did not bring us into this world and cannot take us out.
God gave us to them and they are going to have to answer for what they did with the gift given. Just like we will have to answer for how we honored them. One last thing. Honor does not equate to taking abuse and disrespect. I don’t care what you heard or what you think.
Things went super left with my mother due to my father and his wife’s involvement. I left her house and went home.
I said I was never going back to the church I was born in. But when I got there (due to proximity and transportation issues), I appreciated the pastor. Especially what I found at the church he founded. It reminded me of home. That didn’t last long. He shut his down to merge with his father’s that he was pastoring-the one I was born in. But he didn’t do a culture adjustment. It was more of what I didn’t want. I left. And became a church nomad for 10 years.
I would visit churches, including the one that was home but not because the pastor left to start his own, but something wasn’t right. I almost joined a church or two. There are too many to count. Some were back home and some were where we moved to because I moved back to where my mother and sister were.
I thought I needed to and wanted to go to seminary. It was where I thought I was supposed to live to do what I know I was called to do. I ended up having to leave my sister’s earlier than planned and went home for a month before I went there for seminary.
Seminary did not work out. I lasted a few weeks there. I didn’t have enough financial aid. I didn’t have the ability to make enough money for my bills. I refused to go back where my sister and mother were so I went home. That only lasted for a little over a year because I ended up having to move across town and once again didn’t have enough money for my bills. God refused to allow me to get jobs based on my educational and work experience. I needed the jobs I had though. I needed every experience. I like to say no losses only lessons. I am gonna write something with that title. 🙂 (and did. and managed to remember to link it!)
I thought things were better with my sister so I moved back to where she and my mother were. And they weren’t. They got as bad as they have ever been.
I eventually moved back to where seminary was where I thought I was supposed to be. Even though I didn’t want all of what God wanted for me, didn’t fully believe I would see it even though I talked about it, I still felt like I should try. Especially based on my education and career aspirations.
I was desperate to pay my bills and give a conditional yes and try to get to where I needed to be. So desperate that I didn’t tell to many people where I was going and what I was doing. Which was living in my car at a truck stop for a few months. The people were up in arms when they found out. I had places I could have gone.
But I didn’t want to go there. For multiple reasons. Aaaaaaaaand. Van (car) life is a thing. There are entire social media accounts devoted to it. I wanted the freedom to be and not have to adapt or adjust to anyone like I did for the couple of times I lived by myself. I eventually found a room to rent and stayed put for over a year.
The entire 10 years I was out of church as a member, I attempted to maintain a relationship with Jesus. I still engaged with church. Like I said, I tried. I messed up. It happens. But I also shed a lot of the religion that I was introduced to. I said introduced because that’s not what was up at my home church. Relationship was the thing. I can’t break down the difference here. I will elsewhere I promise. I hope I remember to come back. Just search for it if it isn’t linked because I forgot. Apologies.
I don’t regret my mistakes. To regret them is to regret the beauty I see that I have grown into. It is cringe worthy. But. Jesus and I have a good thing going.
After my last hiccup, God told me I was ready and that He would spring forth water in the desert. I almost said I felt like God said. Cuz Ion wanna be out here lying on him. But it was Him.
I left where I was with a plan. Cycles. I went back to my sister’s. Things were better but not as great as I thought. But that was the last time. It wont happen again. There is no possible way. I decided to move because she decided to move. And sis will have no room for me.
I decided to move because I found a church that reminded me of home. My sister introduced me to it. I felt like the pastor and the ministry would be able to launch me into purpose. I tried to find a job in the city where the church is. Drove like four hours in the middle of the high gas prices of 2022. Twice. I let the pastor know. Wait. Let me back up.
At the top of 2021 a guy who was like a brother to me at my home church was supposed to be at the church my sister introduced me to. My friend and I decided to go up the night before. She was familiar with the church too. Ion remember how. Or maybe not yet and this got her into it. I’m not finna waste time and ask. Lol. We went. Church was canceled because of an ice storm. I still wanted to see broski.
He happened to be with the pastor so I got to meet him. I lied to Bishop. Forgive me Lord! I told him I would never tell what I saw him doing and I think I told on him in his presence with a few people. But I’m gonna hold to it and not tell it here. Just know, it was very comedic of him and suits his comedic nature.
It was refreshing that he was the same person. It was refreshing that he simply asked what church I go to. When I told him I wasn’t a member and watched online a few places, he explained and understood my generation. No judgment. No condemnation. But he did his pastoral duty and told me I needed to find a church and get planted. He didn’t push for me to join his church (an online member was a possibility).
I privately toyed with the idea of moving to a place I never considered all because of the church. I shut the idea down because of my career aspirations. But. When I came to myself (shout out to my actual pastor. I’m getting there), I decided I was going to go because my sister finally decided to move after joking about it and making comments for what seemed like forever.
I decided that I was just gonna move and rent a room two hours from the location of the church my sister was going to. I thought about it and decided I would go to another location that was still two hours away. I just needed to be under Bishop’s covering.
I was going to go to a Juneteenth event then go to church. But. My cousin lives in the same city as and wanted to go with me. She told me not to wait on her. But I decided to. I looked up a Juneteenth event and went.
Once I got there I saw a pastor and his wife who used to go to the church. I knew of them through socials and old videos of church services. I started talking to them as if I knew them forever. I have the gift of never meeting a stranger. But this was even more of that than normal. For some reason, I just started spitting stuff out.
Come. To. Find. Out. They just started a second location in this city two weeks before this, the week before I got there, the week I decided to just move. Who wouldn’t serve a God like this?! I had the realization, that it was his church that I needed to be in to do what I needed to do. Like them kids in that fairytale, God left breadcrumbs. Fortunately for me, they are leading to a great ending, unlike them.
Where is the Scripture you say? I’m glad you asked. I got an earful from someone who didn’t like that I have been wandering. They brought up my age and said I needed a job with insurance. They said I needed stability. They took issue with the fact that my sister and I were moving for a church. I ignored it. And then God had Bishop pray for me and tell me to follow the leading of the Lord for the next move He wanted to do in me and through me. So I ended up at the church that I am so excited about!
Abraham moved here there and everywhere at the word and direction of God. And look what we have today. All religions that have a God/god that share principles (Judaism, Christianity, Protestantism, Catholicism, Isalm, etc.), can be traced back to a man who left all he ever knew and followed the voice of a God many have come to know.
Joseph was sold into slavery. After ending up second in command, he ran for survival, ended up falsely accused, and imprisoned. He dreamed dreams that he shared and God allowed him to interpret the dreams of others. The dream sharing was part of why he was sold. His jealous brothers. It really be your own people. It didn’t help that he was their dad’s favorite.
While it all seemingly was disastrous. And, though not recorded, I imagine he doubted if the dreams would ever come true, the gift of interpretation led to him being released from prison and second in command of all of Egypt. His life, his struggle, his moves, what seemed disastrous, saved all of Egypt and his entire family. His father was Jacob who became Israel. Who led us all the way to Jesus of Nazareth. The Christ. The Savior.
Go be great. This is long enough. Someone is counting on you. I’m sure I could have done a better job. Oh.
MAKE THE MOVES! Your life and the lives of people you have never met are counting on it. Choose to thrive wherever you are. Your prison could become salvation for someone else. Ha. I gotta go. I’m out.
Soooooo. After two months….I gotta make another move. I feel like it’s a little crazy. But I knew this wasn’t permanent. The experience has been one I didn’t expect but necessary. I gotta go build this legacy. And this place prepared me. I had some stuff going on in me I was unaware of that wouldn’t have been great to take with me. I’m grateful for rhe stop. I kinda wish it would have been longer cuz of the optics. But hey. The Who Say What Now of it all…