About the Author

Ginger encourages women to fully live God’s word and writes for www.GingerHarrington.com, as well as Guideposts, Planting Roots, and More to Be. She is a speaker and Social Media Coordinator for Planting Roots: Strength to Thrive in Military Life.

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  1. Thank you so much for this, Ginger, for sharing how God saw and provided for your need. I lived in about 15 houses growing up, 7 different towns and 2 countries (with different languages and cultures: on the other side of the world). And since growing up I’ve moved countries 4 times and houses numerous times. So, like you described, that first hello has become incredibly difficult for me. There’s the tiredness, the fear of rejection, the fear of difference, the culmination of past hurts of being excluded and deeply hurt by xenophobic comments as a child, cultural differences….but your experience reminds me of how God has been and continues to be in the changes with me. And it also encourages me, by reminding me that what seems such a simple thing (saying hello) for many people, isn’t the case for everyone. And that God doesn’t frown upon my weakness, but works through and into it.

    Recently, I’ve befriended a refugee family and it’s blessing me to be friends to them because I am able to give what I have so desperately craved with each move.

    • You’ve had so many adventures in all the places you have lived! And yet, there is definitely a hard side to transient living. You’ve experienced them all. I hope that like me, God has made you better through the many experiences. I love the way you recognize that God is in the changes with us–what a powerful truth to hold on to. You are bearing the fruit of those difficult hellos as you reach out to this refugee family with a heart that knows the challenges. You are making a difference and meeting a life-sized need with your hello!

      • Oh yes, so many adventures and so much transformation. I’ve been meditating on the Scripture you shared about His consolations bringing joy to our soul and I started seeing how God uses fear (not of Him who is perfect love) to draw us near to Him. So, where we flee fear, there’s distrust, pride leading to self-control and ultimately anger (our attempt at control) and exhaustion. And where we step into the fear in trust, we humble ourselves to surrender to His control and are met by Him, our greatest consolation (Prince of Peace, Comforter, Consoler, Provider etc.). Fear doesn’t disappear from our life, it being part of a broken world, but if we trust God through it, our joy multiplies, instead of our anxiety. Thank you for sharing this Scripture: what a blessing it is…and an answer to a prayer of mine.

        • It is interesting how many of our fears boil down to not trusting God and trying to maintain control. I’m so thankful God meets us where we are whether it is joy, fear, loneliness, success… I’m so glad that this verse is helpful for you–it has strengthened my heart many times.

  2. What a beautiful story. THANK YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND AND YOUR KIDS FOR YOUR SERVICE!!!
    I love how God slips in and answers even the prayers we didn’t really expect to be answered.

    Bless you. Thank you for sharing this.

    • God surprises us in those unexpected, yet often simple things. I know it brings Him great delight to surprise us and build our faith at the same time.

  3. HELLO, Ginger! 😉

    Starting over is difficult. I’m not from a military family, but I’ve had my share of moves, (including a move to the “other school in town” – in the middle of football season!) Even as an adult. True, true … “Hello” is a gift that opens doors. I smiled as I read your Scriptures. It was like I was in your story and I heard the verses in my head bolstering my own courage. Beautifully written! Happy to connect with you!

  4. Oh my goodness! I could SO relate to this post! I moved 16 times before I graduated from high school. I even went to THREE DIFFERENT SCHOOLS in the 4th grade. UGH. Being the constant “new kid” IS the life of the military. As adults, we’ve only had to move our family a couple of times for my husband’s job, but it’s been hard both every time. I am so thankful for those who serve our country. I don’t think most people realize what a sacrifice the military life is for the WHOLE family. What I’ve learned: I am drawn to the “new kids”…in the neighborhood, in church, in our schools. I remember that sick-to-your-stomach feeling, and it’s NO FUN; I’ve learned to not hold back. Because we never knew how long we were going to be in a place, I tended to guard my heart a little more. It takes SO MUCH EFFORT to get to know new people, find out their stories, tell yours…and it seems easier to hold back and sit in the back and not get involved. We are the “new kids” where we live now, and it’s been exhausting at times. Granted, we have to put in some effort…but we shouldn’t have to put in ALL the effort. Right? I’ve learned that life is short and who knows where we will be this time next year…so I try to meet as many people as I can. It starts with HELLO. It sounds simple, but when you’re an introvert…well, I’ve really had to step out of my shell at times and make the first move. Also, I miss my parents and siblings terribly, and they are wonderful…but we never lived near our family growing up…and we don’t live near them now. I’ve learned to make my friends my “family” here in town. A friend gave me a sign that says, “Friends are the family you choose for yourself.” SO TRUE. Never underestimate how much friendship can enhance your life, or how much YOUR friendship can mean to someone else. God doesn’t waste our experiences. He either orchestrates them or He allows them…and there are many lessons to be learned from adversity.

    • We faced a possibility of three schools in one year–I can’t imagine! We opted to homeschool that year and it was a great year. I love the way your experiences have shaped an introvert into an intentional relationship builder! That is such a gift to so many, and you have enjoyed the benefits as well. You’re right, it can be tempting to hold back and not engage, but that only creates other problems. Friendship is a treasure. Thank you for your thoughtful response to this post. Sharing your experience will encourage others!

  5. Oh Ginger, I can’t imagine moving around like that… and with teens! We emigrated from the UK, but my daughter was only 2, so she thought she was going on an awesome vacation in Canada. Now my kids are teens and twenties, I can’t even imagine :/ I know uprooting and moving away certainly pushes you out of your comfort zone, but God never fails to provide for his children, and that includes friendships for us and our kids. I love that He knows our needs before we do, and yeah, He definitely has a superb sense of humour! Wishing you well in your new home, I’m your neighbour at Blessings Counters 🙂

    • Though moving has its challenging moments, God has blessed us with wonderful experiences and friends each place we’ve been. God always goes with us wherever we go!

  6. Ginger! You hit the nail on the head for me today and really encouraged me. My family has just relocated from Turkey to Dallas, Texas. (and I so miss Austin, my hometown, where I KNOW people!) The kicker is that just after we get used to being here, we’ll move back to Turkey. (We did this same home assignment thing 6 years ago.) So I smiled when I read your post. Reminds me God is in control. He knows where I am and what I need. 🙂 Feels like I’m working double time to encourage my 16 year old daughter, but I’m trying to REST in Jesus! Thanks so much for this post.

    • Betsy, I will be praying for you and your daughter as you adjust to this move. Somehow, adding teens into the mix made for our most challenging moves. And yet, it only takes a few new friendships to open the door to the blessings in a new place. Keep resting in Christ, He will bring you through!

  7. I enjoyed this Ginger. I moved a lot as a kid, and can identify. But I am also reminded of how many times, I find myself in new situations where I too can’t seem to find a hello within me. Thank-you for reminding me of the many, many times that God has sent “surprise friends” to say hello. Truly He sees us and knows just when to lighten the air in the room. 🙂

    • I know what you mean about new situations. Most of the time I’m fine with new things as I’m pretty outgoing. My first writers conference had me searching for a little courage, but a friendly hello set my heart at ease.

  8. This was a beautiful post Ginger! You are so right! You are a powerful writer, elegant and truth speaking! Thank you for your encouraging words. God meets us wherever we are at!

    • Thank you, Sarah Jean–you’re words are a sweet encouragement. I’m grateful God is in every new place (physical, mental, spiritual…) before we get there. Blessings!

  9. Ginger,
    Thank you and your husband for the military service!!! Moving in itself is hard, much less trying to meet people–especially for youngsters and teens. Many years ago I was a “newbie” at my husband’s church. It is a small church and I knew no one. One my first day there one lady made it a point to come to me and say hello and welcome! Made a difference in my life! At that point I decided I liked the friendliness of the church! Now I’m the one saying hello to new people. I want to make them feel welcome. That is what Jesus would do!!
    Blessings 🙂

    • I’m glad you see the application of this post that extends far beyond the specific situation of moving. I love the way your experience gave you a desire to extend that same gift of hello to others.