The moving truck is full. Your house is barren save the lone piece of luggage sitting next to you on the carpet. Your mind travels from room to room over all the memories, tender and terrible, in this spot you called home. You hear the moving truck rumble away with all your earthly belongings. You glance back at the house one more time before sliding into the driver seat of your car then pull away, leaving a piece of your heart behind.
After a recent walk with my husband, we reminisced over our move from Texas to Tennessee fourteen years. I had accepted the inevitable when my husband was offered a job in Tennessee as it brought us somewhat closer to family, but I felt like a part of me was ripped off.
Soon after we settled, I heard my youngest weeping in her bedroom. My oldest referred to our move day as the “worst day ever,” and my son came home each Friday talking about the birthday/slumber parties he was not invited to. I had my own throbbing hurts to heal from.
Far removed from that move day, I still feel for those in that position. If you are in the state of “moved but not yet settled,” there are some simple ways to make this transition less disruptive on you and your family.
Spend the first few weeks exploring the city as if you were on vacation. We moved at the beginning of June so we had the whole summer to visit family and local attractions while at the same time familiarizing ourselves with roads and landmarks.
Be friendly. Introduce yourself. Invite people over for coffee or tea as soon as you are settled. If you haven’t met a neighbor, go borrow a cup of sugar and get their advice on restaurants and doctors. Exchange phone numbers.
Find a church and get plugged in. We visited several churches when we first moved. Once we found one, the kids and my husband and I joined life groups and Bible studies.
Shift your thinking of the move from an interruption to a God opportunity. Ask yourself: What is God wanting me to learn in this move? How can I grow in Him during this time of upheaval?
If you have children, encourage them to open up about how they are feeling. Seek professional help if one continues to struggle.
Take care of yourself. My husband moved five months ahead of us so he knew the area and had his routine. I, however, took longer to establish relationships. If this is your case, call a friend from home and be honest about how you are feeling. Give yourself time to build new relationships.
Maybe you’re not the one moving but rather a new neighbor moved next to you. Take some cookies to them and leave your cell number. Invite them to attend church with you. Keep them up-to-date on social and local happenings. Be available. Give them the gift of your time.
Sometimes the simplest actions can go a long way in welcoming a new neighbor.
Our move to Nashville was rocky, but looking back, God’s hand and footprints were visible. He provided new friends and opportunities for all of us. Yes, I had to cling to Him when I did not know a soul, but His grace was sufficient in those initial days. His grace is still abundant as we are settled in our home in TN.
What other tips for easing the pain of a move could you share?