"Moving is sorta like a death.
This thought has been twirling around my head for the last little bit ...but let me, first, give you some history about myself.
I lived in the same home, went to the same church and had the same friends until I went to college.
I spent my summers in other states but I still came home to "home". It wasn't until I graduated from college that my parents moved to where they live now. I spent another year with them and then got married and moved to Florida.
So for five years after I graduated from high school, I was a nomad living in dorms or at camps. But that was part of my single-hood. Sometimes, it was hard to leave and change but it was nothing like THIS TIME.
This time my heart hurt.
First off, I loved our ministry. The teens and children that God had placed in our lives for the last six years were/are really special to us. We watched them grow up through our children's ministry and slowly go into our youth ministry. These kids are like my own and I we miss them dearly!
Our church family was the next reason for our heart ache. My own biological family was 12 hours away, so my church family has been like a 2nd family to me for these six years. We have adopted grandparents, mamas, sisters and brothers. Some have passed away and others I have left behind. The Bible talks about how we are brothers and sisters in Christ. #bloodfamily For me, the hardest part of leaving ANY area is leaving your church family behind.
The smallest reason, but a reason very dear to me, is our home. I loved our home. We bought it as a fixer-upper and put love, sweat and tears into it. I could walk into the kitchen and remember when Aunt Faith came and helped us with stripping wallpaper and paint. She spent so much time helping us that she had a special bedroom that she claimed for her own. I walked into my living room and saw beautifully painted walls and redone wood flooring that Pepe (Bill) redid for us. I saw the new-to-us stove that I wanted forever, that was donated and installed by our friends, the Njuses. I saw plumbing work that was done by our friend Travis and so many other rooms that were touched by family and friends. Then I walked downstairs and saw the special rooms where my children were born, at home.
These rooms each had memories. They spoke of love and laughter, teen nights and lots of fun!
I have moved locations but a part of my heart will always be with my second family in FL. I am so grateful that God gave me this time with these dear, dear folks. I will treasure the memories I have made and plan to make new ones with new friends I hope to make in TN.
Moving feels like a death....but just like when a Christian dies, you don't say "good bye," you say "see you later." So to my dear FL family and friends, "See you soon! I always have an extra room for you. Come visit!"
I wrote the above around the time we moved and have been wavering about whether I should share this. BUT I decided to because I know that someone else out there is going through the same thing. I want that person to know that they are NOT alone.
Also I wanted to share a few things that have been shared with me AND a few things that have helped me.
1. Give yourself at least a year, to settle. Understand that it takes a while to know where the groceries in the grocery aisle are. It takes time to meet and connect with friends. It takes time to walk in your door and finally feel like you are home.
2. Unpack as quickly as you can, so you can get rid of the boxes and the feeling of transition. Put pictures on the wall and make it your home. Try to even organize those "never going to get to" boxes in your garage so you at least feel done. Then when you have some extra down-time, you can go through those random boxes.
3. Let yourself cry and mourn for your friends, but don't lose contact, just because you have moved. Call, Skype or message them. They miss you too!
4. JUMP IN with both feet!!! Ok, I know this can be hard, when you go to a new place. No matter what it is, school, church, mom's group, it's hard to just jump in. HOWEVER, the quicker you get involved and make connections, the quicker you will be able to feel at home. Find a good church. Attend their Bible studies and activities, go to their mom's group. Jump in.
5. To have friends, you must be a friend. When I moved to Florida, I really struggled, because it was my husband's territory. It was his friends, his family, his church and I just felt really lonely. One day, my husband told me that if I wanted friends, I had to be one. So, we started inviting families over every Thursday night. We have always had people in our house and so it wasn't surprising that when we moved to TN we started having families over within the first month.
6. Last, but not least, make time for your #1 relationship. Even though you are busy unpacking and transitioning, make sure you set aside time with the Lord every day. Be in His Word. Be in prayer. Listen to Christian speakers through podcasts, listen to worship music. Remember, The Lord will be your strength in weakness, so don't overlook Him, in the middle of your craziness.
I hope some of these suggestions help. Some were given, some I have learned. I hope these encourage you. - Rejoicing in the Present