New, but not new- Moving Places

By Matt (with Karla), Guest Home Management

With the advent of social media, the end of the year is replete with reminders of events over the past 12 months as well as exhortations to make resolutions for self-improvement. Additionally, New Year’s Eve is a time for socialising and coming together with friends and family. However, the pomp and circumstance often associated with celebrating the dawn of a new year does not resonate with everyone.

I am a 50+ year-old expat. My wife and I have lived in Singapore for almost 9 years. We have been “expats” for a bit longer, as we came from Japan, where we lived for 4 ½ years.  However, it was not my experience as an expat that minimised my zeal for celebrating the New Year.

After graduating from university, I served in the US Navy.  In the first 15 years, our family lived in 10 different cities. On 4 occasions, our moves occurred during the New Year period and involved traveling 1,500 km (Florida to Virginia), 2,000 km (Florida to Rhode Island), 5,000 km (east to west coast), or 12,000 km (Virginia to Japan). For many, the transition from one year to the next is often seen as a symbolic opportunity for a fresh start. For our family, the transition was not symbolic, but a physical journey marked by the packing and unpacking of belongings, the uprooting of routines, and the adaptation to new environments.

While others celebrate the turn of the calendar with festivity and resolutions, our appreciation for the passage of time is intertwined with the memories (both good and bad) of moving across continents and the camaraderie formed by fellowship in several different churches. For us, the essence of the New Year lies not in the grandiose celebrations but in the comfort of knowing the unchanging nature of God. During life’s uncertainties and transitions, God remains steadfast and reliable. His character, promises, and love endure, providing a source of strength and stability even as circumstances around us may shift and evolve.

 

Image Credits: Unsplash

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