I have only had to move twice (so far), luckily, but the potential has come up many times, and we have at least one more on the horizon as coach climbs the ladder to head coach. Before I stumbled upon a certain verse, I struggled with the fact that moving multiple times was a big piece of this lifestyle. I was pretty much in denial when the potential arose and passive aggressive when it became a reality.
The idea of feeling at home in more than one place, in multiple places even, seems crazy and overwhelming. How is it possible to invest with your whole heart in one team, then turn around the next season and have to give it away to a new one? I’ve had to cheer against the places I’ve called home and root against people I’ve called family. We’ve had to cheer against our alma mater more times than we can count, and even went head to head with them in the biggest game to date in coach’s career.
I have learned that it is not a lack of loyalty to the previous school, to the town, to the players, or to the people you have left. Changing jobs does not take away from the time, energy and dedication you gave to the old school. Moving on does not make where you were any less of a home. Even knowing all of this, it was still difficult for me to not fear and obsess over this aspect of the job.
And then I read Ruth 1:16. “Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God."
This verse made clear to me that the true definition of home isn’t a physical place.
It’s not the house that I painstakingly decorated and kept clean(ish).
It’s not the school whose colors I put on week after week and cheer for until I lose my voice.
It’s not the town where I had all three of my babies, and where we have our favorite restaurants, our church, and friends that have become family.
The truth is that I don’t make my home at each new school or each new town we go to. If you rely on a place or a school to make your life happy, you will inevitably be disappointed, even if you don’t ever move. Places change, your favorite stores can go out of business. Schools change, staff members come and go, administration and their support can come and go as well.
I realized that when I said “I do,” I made my home with coach, and that became even more of a reality when we started having children. I know there is some time between now and when these potential location changes come up. But as the wins and/or losses add up this season and that potential gets closer, Ruth 1:16 has been a game changer for me in terms of how I let that potential occupy my mind. I’ve done it before and I can do it again.
My home is wherever they are. Just like Ruth and Naomi, where he goes, I go and where he stays, I stay.