In response to someone who asked why so many older couples are selling their homes and moving to places far away from their families to spend retirement:
I lived away from my family for over 35 years for various reasons, primarily job-related. Our children didn’t grow up knowing their extended families. We learned to live our lives independently, sometimes only seeing our families once a year on holidays or even less. In this absence, we created our own traditions. We didn’t have built-in free babysitters for going out. No big vacations, we camped. Rarely eating out, I cooked. I cut my kids’ hair, we wore second-hand clothes, and for years I made a lot of the gifts we gave. You do what you have to and make do.
The best explanation I have for why we decided to move is God opened a door, and we gratefully grabbed at the opportunity to walk through it. We lived 35 years in Colorado. Now that we are almost to retirement age and our kids are all grown, we decided it was time to start over in a little warmer climate, in a more centralized location to our families, where it’s more affordable to live out the rest of our years.
Most people are happy for us. We haven’t been treated very well by some. Others are just curious as to “Why?” because we now live in Oklahoma in a more rural area with a slower lifestyle and horses, cows, and steers as our neighbors down the road. On the other hand, you won’t meet friendlier people, and there is something to be said for a land covered with an abundance of tree species, wildlife, water, and green everywhere. It’s a different kind of beauty from Colorado’s mountains. Still, for a body and mind parched from the crowds and arid insignificance, it may not be for everybody but it’s an oasis of respite for us until the Lord calls us home.
I sometimes miss the old holiday gatherings from long ago with all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, but this is a much different world in which we live. It was prophesied to be this way and has been in the works for centuries. Our dependence needs to be on the Lord, not our parents, children, families, or other entities. God is the Sustainer.
Frankly, I don’t know how I would have made it through the thick of life without Him, but
I am looking forward, not behind.
Not that I have already obtained this or been perfected, but I press on if only I might take hold of that for which Messiah Yeshua took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself as having taken hold of this. But this one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the reward of the upward calling of God in Messiah Yeshua.