Relocating Doesn't Have to Be Traumatic
by Lynda Elliott, Life Coach
I just found out that we are moving again! After moving every two to three years since we’ve been married, I have finally found a place that feels like home. I can hardly bear to leave and there is no way out! Help!
Most of us would agree that moving is difficult because it involves anxiety about the future, as well as the grief from your current loss. Most women relocate because of a change in their husband’s ministry or job. Many feel as if they really have no choice. Here are some ways to ease those feelings.
Pray and try to discern God’s will about the move. Then express your thoughts and feelings to your husband. Don’t automatically abdicate your life to the decisions of others. I have coached women who have silenced their feelings, moved, and then found themselves feeling resentful, bitter, and unable to adjust to the new environment.
Even though you may not be able to avoid the move, you do not have to be invisible in the process. You have the God-given right to express yourself, to question, and to have influence. You can do this whether you are dealing with your husband’s work or a potential move due to your own profession.
Remember, if the move is not God’s will, He has the power to prevent it. Pray as Moses did, “If Your Presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here!” (Ex. 33:15, Amplified Bible).
If you continue to feel resistant, ask God to change your heart. When I am resistant about a situation, I pray from Proverbs 16:3 which says, “Cast your works upon the Lord – commit wholly to Him.” (He will cause your thoughts to become equal to His will and so shall your plans be established and succeed.) Many times I simply did not want to do what was required. As I submitted my will, it was amazing how I found myself wanting to do the very thing I resisted. In fact, I was able to move forward with faith and enthusiasm!
A friend of mine described a recent move as a “mini-death.” She exclaimed, “I am losing my friends, all familiar places and things, and I even feel like I’m losing myself! I feel so sad!” Although you will feel some grief, it is helpful to know that grief comes in waves that last for about 20 to 30 minutes. If you need to cry, cry. Talk and pray with a friend and let the grief wave pass over. As time passes, the waves will come less and less.
If you have developed a ministry and are afraid that you will never have such meaningful opportunities again, remember that Eph. 2:10 says that our works were ordained before the foundation of the world, and that when we walk with Him, we will do those works and walk in the good life He prepared ahead of time. If you feel like the plan has been broken, remember His Word is true.
Recently I heard someone say, “No longer can geography create distance between people.” I realized that we can be in touch with those we love most minute by minute. For example, we have free cell phone minutes, email, faxes, and we can even see each other over the Internet, as well as the telephone! We can fly almost anywhere within 24 hours. I have another friend who does a daily bible study with her daughter via email. They both read the Scripture the night before and discuss it over instant messaging the next morning. In our times, it is very easy to remain close to those we love.
Memories of past moves can have a strong impact on your expectation of the current one. Maybe you went through a desert or wilderness. Tell yourself, “That was then and this is now.” Be open to the new experience.
In closing, be careful what you say to yourself and others. During a difficult move, I felt totally lost. A wise friend said, “You are teaching yourself to feel lost! Change what you say to yourself.” In looking back, I can see that I was right on track with Eph. 2:10. I began to quote God’s Word and as time passed, His Word proved true. I believe this will happen for you!
Find support with other moving friends through the ministry Just Moved! launched by author and speaker Susan Miller. If you have recently moved, or anticipate a move in the near future, the Just Moved website and ministry offer you many resources that will encourage and help you in your transition. The ministry can also connect you and your family to a church and the community in your new area, as well as help you get in touch with a “moving on” group of other women who are relocating just like you.
To find out more and find a new friend when you move, visit the Just Moved website at www.justmoved.org