I’ve been living in my current home for 17 months and it’s the longest I’ve stayed somewhere since June 2009. In the period between, I lived in three different places for a year, as well as a couple of shorter stints at my parents.
I think this stint, which will hopefully continue for another few years has been good.
In the past couple of months I’ve gained three responsibilities at church including sound and set-up/pack-up once a month as well as becoming part of a team that organises a small semi-regular gathering.
This is a reflection of strengthening relationships at church and in turn it strengthens relationships as serving requires spending time with people. I need to get taught how to set things up and then I need to get help to do it and then sometimes it needs to be organised.
These kind of opportunities don’t seem to come up when I’ve only been at a place for a year. And didn’t, at the two different churches I attended for nine months. Indeed at one of them I really only started making friends a month or so before I was due to leave. The other church was very friendly, so by the end of my time there I had great people to sit with and chat to after the service. I wonder how much deeper my relationships could have been at both those places if circumstances had allowed me to do two years in those places.
I’m a quieter more introverted person and I don’t often meet people and instantly become friends with them. I need to see them repeatedly over a long period of time before we move to that status. Moving isn’t good for this.
A year ago when I moved here, I said to myself; I need to stay here; put down roots; see what happens. Avoid the desire to go somewhere else soon even if the bright lights of the city call or an interesting job appears somewhere else.
I need to stay put as it’s how I thrive. Trying to start at a new church every year isn’t fun. It takes me a month to talk to someone, four months to stand around and chat in a group and a year before I start getting roles. (okay, it’s not quite that bad; but you get the picture).
Despite my, ‘perhaps I’ll go teach English in Asia,’ post a few weeks ago to some degree this is what works me. (On the other hand I imagine teaching English overseas in a missionary situation as opposed to a private school in a capital city sense would be somewhat intense and you would be spending a lot of time with the same people.)