I’ve done both some running and some moving. Isn’t that the same thing, Jakeetta? Well, technically you are always moving when you run. Even if you are on a treadmill running in place. Yet, you are not always running when you move. Over the years, I’ve learned the difference between the two as well as why one action is better than the other depending on the circumstance. There are many other things that you can run or move on from. I’m sure you’ve heard of or know someone who keeps going from “relationship to relationship”. However, my focus right now is on the aspect of physically moving from one zip code to another. Think about every time you relocated in the past. Did you run or did you move?
Now, there are some instances when immediately running is always the best option. Certain environments and living arrangements can be toxic to your well-being. If you find yourself and/or your children are in physical danger, by all means RUN. Get out, and please do so sooner rather than later. This is where running from the problem is actually escaping for your life. Anyone who truly cares about your safety and well-being won’t fault you for this type of move. You will also look back on it and be glad that you did.
Now, I can remember my very first relocation. In 1999 I went off to attend college at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in Tallahassee, FL. I was a nineteen-year-old mom with a newborn baby boy in tow. Everything went well for about a year and a half. I was a full-time mom, full-time student and a part-time employee. I was young and foolish so I ended up having some legal problems arise. To be quite honest, I was being hot-headed and got into trouble. I had a couple of options. I could stick it out, stay in Tallahassee and finish school, or I could drop out of school and move back home. Either way I would have to face the consequences of my actions. What did I choose, though? I chose to run. Yes, that’s what I call that relocation back to South Florida. I consider it running because I fled out of fear and doubt that I couldn’t handle the pressure of my problems. It was like running home from school to avoid the possibility of getting beat up by another kid. I don’t know if I could have won the fight because I didn’t stick around to throw any punches at all.
Years later, my next move would be even more drastic and impulsive. One day I just quit my job, picked up my then three small children, and moved four hours away from all of my family to Jacksonville, FL. What I initially called this was a “change of scenery” move. I was financially unstable and unhappy with myself and just life in general. Surely moving to another city to start over fresh would be the cure. Ha! In my Forrest Gump voice, “I was RUNNING.”
But seriously, you can move without running. This is what I look at as a productive relocation. This is a much more calculated move. It’s something you pray on, wait for an answer, and then proceed. The last time I moved, I made a conscious effort to not only change my environment but also to allow a change within me. I wasn’t gung-ho about moving to Deltona either. I actually loved living in Jacksonville. There were the seafood joints on every corner, the Jaguars, and a host of people that I had come to love. I had spent twelve years there. My youngest daughter was born there. I really could go on and on about how attached I was to that place. However, I knew that the change in me required the move and my obedience.
I finally realized that all that time I had been running instead of moving. Turns out, my environment wasn’t the problem at all. I was. I couldn’t blame a particular location for my unwillingness to make necessary changes within me. No matter where I went not much changed about me. I was carrying the same ole me from place to place hoping that things would change if only I could just be someplace else.
You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.~ Ernest Hemingway
Jesus, take the wheel of the moving truck!
Help was always available to me no matter where I lived. It wasn’t a particular place that I should have been running from. Instead, it was the open arms of the Lord that I should have been running to. I ran out of fear, but His love casts out fear. For my constant sadness, John 15:11 says that the joy He gives fills to completeness. He gives peace unlike the world for that anxiety that I had. In my weakness, the Lord is my strength. Philippians 4:19 assures me that God will provide anything I could possibly need. He is my refuge. I will no longer run from places, situations or even myself. Every move that I make will be led by God.