(Courtesy Photo)

Living & Growing: A profound parking lot realization

You are accepted, and you are not alone and you most certainly belong — no matter what!

By Kristina Abbott

It was a typical rainy Juneau day, and leave it to Sting singing “Every Breath You Take” on the radio to kickstart a philosophical and theological trance that put my mind into overdrive while my preparing to drive my car home from Home Depot last week.

After coming to Juneau, Alaska nearly 30 years ago, not much younger than my youngest is now, I am leaving Southeast Alaska. Our family is relocating to the Mat-Su Valley this fall and I am honestly terrified. I am not fearful of the geographical location itself. I am an avid kayaker, hiker and explorer extraordinaire, so I look forward to new adventures in new places. I am, however, more scared about the fact that in my mid-30s I must awkwardly try to make new friends, find a new job and acclimate myself and my family into a completely new area. It is easy to make new acquaintances and friends when you are 6, not so much when you are 36. I cannot go up to a fellow adult and ask if they like my new shoes or if they want to make matching friendship bracelets with glittering pony beads. The process of leaving behind family and many friends has been a hard pill to swallow, and the thought of making new friends and connections in a new city has been an even bigger pill to swallow.

I often wonder if we will feel like we belong in our new city — .and as I was leaving the Home Depot parking lot, I asked myself “What if we do not fit in?! What if this new city is not right for us? What if we are total rejects?!”

I decided I needed to shut my brain up and turn on the radio.

With a flip of a switch I heard Sting belting out…

“Every breath you take, every move you make,

every bond you break, every step you take,

I’ll be watching you.”

If Sting himself serenaded this song to me, I will be honest… I would be a little creeped out. The lyrics give off a stalker vibe. However, as I drove, I pictured God singing these lyrics with an angelic rock band on a cloudlike stage in the heavens. It is a little less creepy, right?

As I am imagining this heavenly rock band, my mind trailed off to an actual verse in the Bible that really my heart needed while I was listening to the song. I thought about Joshua 1:9.

“Be strong and courageous, do not be frightened or dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

As my family shifts into the unknown, these words bring more comfort than I can describe. When I question if or how we will fit in or belong, the reality is — no matter what job we have, no matter what relationship or friendship we are in, no matter what family we are born into and no matter where we end up on this beautiful planet — we belong and we are never alone. Christ our lord died so that we would belong in him, and he in us for all eternity.

I genuinely believe our saving grace when it comes to moving through and navigating different seasons in life is that without a doubt — God is with us wherever we go. He is with us in every breath we take, he is with us in every move we make — God is with us all the time. My home, my sense of belonging and the feeling of unconditional love is found in the lord.

If now you hear Sting on the radio and think of a heavenly rock band above, (and even if you do not) just know that God is watching you. Not in a creepy stalker way, but in a way that tells you he has got your back. If you are going through a change or an unsteady season in your life, please know that you are loved, you are accepted, and you are not alone and you most certainly belong — no matter what!

• Kristina Abbott is a member at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

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