by Susan Miller
“More than 44 million people move each year,” says Susan Miller, a veteran of 14 moves in 21 years. “When you’re uprooted, you feel as though your entire life is in brown boxes; you don’t feel as though you belong.” Susan’s many moves were a result of her husband’s transfers within the hotel industry. A southerner with deep roots in the south, Susan found herself at a breaking point in 1986 when she and the family moved to Arizona.
“It was the hardest move of all,” she admits. “We went from grits to guacamole, from green grass to rocks, from oak trees to cacti. After the transfer, I began to fall apart. I had plenty of information on the physical aspects of relocating, but I didn’t find anything that addressed my emotional and spiritual needs.”
A Resource for Starting Over
This struggle led Susan to create a 13-week curriculum for a newcomers’ class that she began teaching at her church in 1987. The class offers tools and encouragement for women to let go, start over, and move ahead after a move. “I wanted to help other women going through what I went through and to help them come out the other side in one piece. And I wanted them to find hope and encouragement in Jesus Christ in the midst of adjusting to their new homes.” The popularity of the class became the springboard for two of Susan’s books, After the Boxes Are Unpacked and But Mom, I Don’t Want to Move!
Start a Moving Ministry in Your Church!
Other newcomer classes using Susan’s materials began springing up around the nation and the world. Most are hosted by churches, but many are being held at military bases, neighborhoods, seminaries, and missionary communities. In 1995, Susan founded Just Moved! Ministries. The resources of the ministry have grown to include a website, DVDs, a journal, a preschool book accompanied by a plush “MOOving” family of cows, phone coaching, and Newcomer Conferences. Most importantly, women adjusting to a move can call the ministry and find a sympathetic, listening ear from a volunteer or part-time staff. “Call us and we’ll offer prayer support and an understanding heart, because our staff and volunteers understand what you’re going through,” says Susan. “We will listen and help you realize that you are not alone.”
Women who are coping with a move can visit the Just Moved! website to find emotional and spiritual support and practical moving tips. They can also learn if there is a “Moving On After Moving In” newcomers’ class in their area. More and more pastors, women’s ministry directors, and Christian military groups are seeing the outreach potential through the resources of Just Moved! and find that the class provides a place for newcomers to connect with Christ, the church, and the community.
For more information on Just Moved! Ministries, call toll-free 1-866-JUSTMOVED, or visit the website, www.justmoved.org.
Christian Moving Resources Christian Moving Resources Christian Moving Resources Christian Moving Resources Christian Moving Resources