Almost exactly one year ago, to the day, I landed in Fort Collins, having spent about four days driving my Prius (my selfless momma tailing me in a white Penske truck), from Seattle, WA.

I had left Seattle on cloud nine — the weekend prior to my hitting the road, I attended the weddings of two of my best friends, surrounded by all of my favorite people, in the most beautiful locations in Washington. I knew that I was leaving something really, really good behind…but I was sure, in my heart of hearts, that moving would just mean more of this. It would mean more friends, more weddings (maybe mine!), more joy.

Because God says He takes us from glory to glory, right…?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been naive in thinking that “glory to glory” meant a superficial kind of “good to better to best.” As in, no matter what I do, no matter where I go, it will just keep getting better. I’ll keep growing and maturing and I’ll finally know myself from the inside out, and won’t it just be incredible?!

Why did I think that? It’s almost laughable now, because I’ve been following Jesus for about six years and it really only keeps getting harder, as life becomes more complicated. We learn of more cancer diagnoses, we experience the death of loved ones, we fall in love and it’s unrequited, rent keeps going up, more miles on your car mean more (expensive) trips to the dealership, we get grey hairs and can’t really do anything about them.

And, yikes, I’m only 26.

To go from glory to glory, then, really has nothing to with life getting better and better…or easier and easier. I know this, but why did I think otherwise?

Glory is derived from the Hebrew word kabod — and is translated directly as weight. 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, “This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison."

Glory is weighty. It’s heavy. If you’ve ever felt it, physically, maybe it’s pushed you to your knees, to lay flat on the floor, face down in your own pool of tears. The further down we bow to God — the closer we get to the ground — is a physical manifestation of the thought: “I want more of you, Lord. Take up more space around me. Have it all. I must decrease, so that you might increase.”

When I think of glory as being weighty, this image comes to mind. But so does another…a balance scale. Between a feather and a bar of gold, which would tip the scale? Of course: the gold bar, the item with greater value. When it comes to the weightiness of something, we can also think that it’s a direct reflection of its value.

In this illustration, the heavier something is, the greater its value.

This, too, is what I think the Bible means when it speaks of God’s glory…it means the thing that holds the greatest amount of weight, and is most valuable. This passage in 2 Corinthians reminds us that God’s glory holds an eternal weight greater than anything we could ever imagine.

So, what does this all have to do with moving?

(Great question…thanks for bringing me back. I almost forgot what I was doing here.)

Everything. This has everything to do with moving. Moving stripped me of so much (as was expected, of course); I miss my friends. I miss my church. I miss my community. I miss my family. I miss the water. I miss the way my hair looked in humidity (Y’all. It is so, so dry here. And my hair is so, so flat). But, when I moved, and had to navigate my way through finding friendship, and church, and community, and lightweight hair conditioner, I had to take a good, hard look in the mirror and ask, “Sophie. What do you value, really? When it comes down to it, what holds weight in your heart?”

In Seattle, I would have said that I valued serving. I loved serving my church, whether it was through writing or hosting or greeting. But I was recognized for it — people made me feel appreciated and loved, and I felt so seen. Here, in Fort Collins, I don’t. I jumped right into serving, and yet, I have felt completely invisible. My church doesn’t know my name, I haven’t been pursued in friendship, and I forgot what it was like to serve in joy. Because, essentially, I had grown to value the recognition I got from serving, rather than the opportunity to serve itself.

I’ve realized a lot of things about myself that haven’t been easy to face. Moving was revealing; it exposed parts of my heart that were not postured like I genuinely thought they were. I’m growing to understand the complexity — and the pain — of sonder, or the “realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” Sonder becomes even more pressing when “random passersby” also means your friends, because everyone is living a life complex and beautiful and hard, and they aren’t going to reach out every five days to check in to see how you are doing. They can’t, because life is hard for them, too, and maybe they need to be checked in with even more than you do.

And, too, I’ve come to understand something different about loneliness. I am an Enneagram 4 (meaning, I’m an “individualist” or a “romantic,” and I love going against the grain. I love doing the thing that nobody else is doing, because it makes me feel unique). For most of my life, I’ve enjoyed a sense of loneliness because I felt — not that I would have admitted this — but like I was too “unique” to be understood by anybody. But, coming from a place in which I was loved so deeply and intimately, it cut right through my loneliness, I’m here now facing this truth: I love community, and people, knowing and being known, so much more than I love the sense of uniqueness that I find comes with loneliness.

Moving has been so, so hard. I knew it would be, but I didn't know in what ways, specifically. And I didn’t expect the complexities of this kind of hard. But it comes down to this: Glory. The value that moving has provided me — the stripping of false identity, the absolute need for Jesus’ companionship because He’s really as faithful, and as constant, as He says.

If nothing else, moving has exposed in me that I value what God wants to do and renew in me more than I value anything else. I value His expertise, His faithfulness, His pursuit more than anyone else’s — and, my God, definitely my own. Moving has exposed me to myself, has forced me to lean not on my own understanding, and to value my relationship with the Maker. This verse in the Psalms comes to mind all the time: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”

When it comes down to it, moving has been instrumental in my growing in wisdom, maturity, and humility. I wouldn’t take it back for anything, and I might even do it all over again. Even if the process is kind of terrible.