Searching for Home in a Life on the Move

“ … in my experience the pursuit of home has been a pursuit of God—because I need to know that peace and rest can be found in every place I am, that there is reason and rightness beneath the chaos of my days.” -Bekah DiFelice, Almost There

In Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move, Bekah DiFelice shares from her experience as a military spouse, frequently moving as she followed her husband, Mike, during his nine years in the Marines.

Q: When you know you are going to move again soon, it can prevent you from connecting in the present. Describe how you built relationships in spite of frequent moves.

I made a conscious decision to continue to pursue people and invest in relationships, even though I knew we might be moving on soon. I behaved as if we were going to stay in one place, otherwise I would have been absent from relationships—even before we moved. Plus, I came up with a game plan on how to stay connected with people who had become significant friends, even as we moved to a different geographical location.

Q: How did your definition of home change during your moves?

When all the changes in life felt random and chaotic, it made me turn to God. Since I believe that my steps were ordained by Him, I looked for some purpose in the midst of change. I asked God to help me interpret what was right in front of me—my current geography and experience in life. I came to understand that ultimately He is our spiritual home and that helped me make sense of life in the midst of transience.

Q: What did you learn about hospitality as you moved about?

I had to learn that hospitality wasn’t about me, but about helping people feel comfortable. The more I would strive for perfection in a clean house or excellent food, the more uncomfortable I made our guests feel. I became aware that unfancy hospitality is the most accessible, especially for the people we met in this season of life—young single Marines and young families. Pizza on a paper plate can lead to great connection!

Q: During Mike’s deployment to Afghanistan, you had to deal with fear, not only for him, but for disconnection in your marriage. How did you deal with fear?

Sometimes fear could become larger than life and take over my mind. I had to recalibrate my thinking from what was exaggerated fear to what I knew was true, in terms of God’s care for me and my husband. It was helpful to have Scripture to cling to as a tool to combat fear. I focused on Psalm 33:20-22 during Mike’s deployment: We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

Q: How did you invest in your marriage relationship after Mike’s deployment?

It took grace, time, and repeated attempts at connection to get momentum back in our marriage. We were both committed to keep trying—sometimes our efforts worked, and sometimes they didn’t. I found an Afghan restaurant for us to go to, because I thought it would help Mike share some about his time in Afghanistan. It was a long drive, and when we got to the restaurant it wasn’t really what he wanted or needed. But we graciously kept pursuing connection with each other. Sometimes that meant just sitting at the dinner table together at home, letting the conversation evolve, without being distracted by other things. We gave each other time and space to rebuild connection.

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