Location, location, location …

Today is a special day. One year ago today, we arrived in Pittsburgh. And even though we’ve been in the Steel City for a year, our cross-county move has proven to be a year-long journey for our family. In fact, it was only this weekend that we moved into a house after renting for a year.

And as I watched new friend after new friend lug boxes in the pouring rain into our new home, I couldn’t help but reflect on the inescapable privileges given to our family by God in 2011. Wrapped up like a lavish birthday present, God gave us the gift of location.

My husband and I have remained in awe at God’s activities and providential planning for us during the last year. Neither of us had been to Pittsburgh before He called us to the Northeast. Both having grown up in the Bible belt, neither of us had ever visited Pittsburgh. And being perfectly comfortable in Southern suburbia, God’s relocation of our family caught us by surprise.

But I’ve learned that in those moments when God catches me by my breath, that I positively must step out in faith. Because in those moments not only does God prove Himself faithful to His good plans for me, but He also showers me with unmerited blessings beyond measure. The beauty of serving a loving God is that He knows what will make my heart sing even before I do.

Because I spent the better part of the day unpacking and organizing our new home, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of His lavish gifts. We love our new house (nicknamed “the farmhouse” by the twins). And even though we fully acknowledge God’s blessings in it, His gift of location to us actually has very little to do with our new address. Because long before we signed the mortgage, God infused our hearts with a love for our new city – its historicity, its quirky communities, its lush terrain, its friendly people, and yes…even its weather (snow in April, anyone?)

But the brightest blessing of our relocation has been the gift of a place of a service. Helping to launch a new church plant in Pittsburgh has been challenging, difficult, and time-consuming. But in giving us this gift of a place to serve Him, God blessed us with a caring community of believers. And although we deeply miss our friends and colleagues in Texas, we have been overwhelmed at the depth of fellowship we’ve been given here in Pennsylvania.

So, I guess my biggest life lesson of 2011 has been this: it’s all about location, location, location. Be where God wants you to be, because it’s only when you act in trust and accept the gift of His guidance that you’ll truly be happy. Regardless if it’s a small town home, temporary housing, or new home.

Do I miss our cramped rental property? Not the walls and carpet. But just like our new house, I will remember it fondly as a place to bring Him glory – through friendships with neighbors and small acts of hospitality. God puts us exactly where we need to be – where we’ll have the most opportunities to serve Him and where we’ll receive His most lavish blessings.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”

Prov. 3:5-7

About melissa deming

Melissa Deming is a freelance writer transplanted from Texas to Pennsylvania with her husband of ten years, Jonathan, and two-year-old identical twins, Zacharias and Jonah. The family serves at a Southern Baptist church plant in Pittsburgh - Living Faith Community Church. Melissa is a regular correspondent for The Southern Baptist TEXAN newspaper and Crossroads magazine of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. She is also the creator and author of HiveResources.com - a site designed to sweeten a woman's walk with Christ through devotional articles, book reviews, and giveaways. Melissa holds a Masters of Divinity in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, and a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M University.