Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Need Thee Every Hour"1 (Lyrics)

Ephesians 2:19 – Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household. (NIV)

My husband and I moved from Canada to the Azores in September 2020. We had lived in the same house since our wedding day on October 4, 1996. I couldn't take everything, of course, so I gave much away to a downtown ministry, to neighbours, and to friends. My children came for a visit and to pick what they wanted. It was bittersweet, because even though it broke my heart, I was happy that the items were going to stay in the family. My father and mother had given me various wooden items that they had made, so they were close to my heart, and now, I had to give most of them away.

It felt like my identity was slowly slipping away. All of my photo albums filled with memories were too many to take, so again, plenty were left behind. I scanned many others to hold onto. I knew that I was supposed to move to Pico, so I dried my eyes and kept going.

I knew that this was God's plan because after hearing His voice telling me about the move, He moved the mountains that would have prevented us from moving, and all in a matter of weeks.

After the painful and emotional goodbyes to my son, daughter, close friends, and church friends, we left for the airport. The flight was excellent, with no problems, delays, or bad weather.

In Pico, I had to give up my Canadian driver's licence and go in to get a Portuguese one. When I noticed it on the file to be sent to Canada, the tears started to roll down my face as it hit me: There goes my identity, the last of Brenda Vargas. But then, something stirred up in me and I thought, No, I am a child of God. This is my true citizenship. I belong to God. All this other stuff is earthly and will fade, but being a member of God's family will always be the same; never will I lose it. The tears stopped, and I was told to look forward at the camera for the identification picture. Oh no! This is not going to be good! I had been crying, and now a picture for my new licence with bloodshot eyes? But my God cares about me, and He has a sense of humour. We tried for half an hour and neither camera worked. I chuckled as I was told that I would have to come back when one was working. They would call me. Thank You, Lord, for taking care of yet another situation for me.

Philippians 3:20 – But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

Questions to ponder: Where on the scale of importance do you put your true citizenship? Do you need help letting go of so-called "important stuff"?

Prayer: Dear loving Father, thank You for always being there for us. With humble hearts, we pray that You will help us to keep our eyes on the prize of our heavenly calling. Thank You for Your Word that reminds us that our true citizenship is in Your hands. Forgive us when we hold onto things more than we should. Thank You, too, for the sense of humour that You so lovingly show. We love You. Amen.

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About the author:

Brenda Vargas <>
Pico, Azores

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true, Brenda.

    Great post and so true, Brenda! Blessings to you in Azores!

    Thanks for sharing, Brenda.
    It is important to remember who is in charge.

    Thanks for a good word today Brenda. I think l too would have found such a move very difficult, even if l wanted to go!

    Dear Brenda – thank you for sharing your faithfulness during a difficult move. I KNOW that God will continue to bless you and your husband. I have heard that the Azores are beautiful. Thank you for your ministry of word.

    What a lovely way to acknowledge God’s presence in your life. And in mine and in the lives of everyone who reads your devotional.
    Thank you for sharing

    Yay, Brenda for sharing your spiritual growth and understanding today! Having moved 35 times so far in my life, having done all this over and over again, I get it. There isn’t much to hold onto anymore. I put my hand in yours and we are together on the journey. Blessings on the Azores as home.

    Thank you for your devotional today on letting go and remembering where our true citizenship lies.
    We visited Pico while vacationing. It’s a beautiful part of God’s world.
    God bless.

    Good afternoon Brenda,
    We moved around a lot in Canada, the USA, several countries in Europe, but we always found a church home, where we worshiped with other Christians, which gave us a steady anchor during some of those stormy days.
    Thank you for writing and blessings.

    Hello Brenda,
    Thank you for this morning’s devotional. You have expressed very well how our real citizenship is with our loving Saviour. I could definitely feel with you the pain and anxiety of giving up special items when you have to make a move to a new location, but we can console ourselves that no matter where we are, the Lord and His tender care is ever with us.
    Blessings for your writing and for how you have adjusted and accepted living in your new location.

    Hi Brenda
    Great reminder of our placement in life. Enjoy the Azores. I too believe God has a sense of humour. Here are a few things that help get me through
    When it comes to the thought of what you can “take with you”, you never see a trailer hitch on a hearse.
    When it comes to money, if they wanted us to hang onto it, it would come with handles.
    There is no such thing as a stranger, just friends we had not met yet.
    Blessings to you and yours. Keep up the good work.
    (Ontario, Canada) -where it snowed last night.

    Be encouraged dear friend! Jesus loves you more then you know.
    Thanks for your encouraging message!

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