In “Blessed in the City: Part 1”, we discussed some of the joys and some of the challenges of moving to a new city. Maybe you’ve been considering a change in scenery yourself. Maybe you think the move would be beneficial in regards to job opportunities or maybe you’re feeling like Ruth and just want to be around loved ones more (Ruth 1:16). Who knows?
Whatever the reason may be, let’s discuss 5 things every Christians should do BEFORE and AFTER we change that address!
5 things to do BEFORE you move:
- Pray. Consult with God. Determine if this move is spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy for you. Ask God to reveal to you exactly where He wants you to be. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5)
- Research churches in the area. If you know anyone who is already living there, ask them for church recommendations. If you don’t know anyone, browse the web for churches. Make a list of churches you would like to visit your first few months in town.
- Plan to bring all your bibles, devotionals, journals, etc. Don’t just pack these valuable items away in boxes in a storage unit just to collect dust (like I did once or twice before). Trust me, you will need them now more than ever with this big move. Ensure that you have all the materials you need to continue your spiritual walk with the Lord! Remember, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105)
- Tell your current church home about your upcoming move. If these are people that you have prayed, worshipped, and served with then odds are you want their prayers and support. You also want to be sure to have the opportunity to tell each other goodbye and exchange ways to keep in touch.
- Pray again! If you’ve received confirmation that this move is what I call “God Approved” then pray for a smooth transition and relatively stress free physical move. (i.e, that you find an affordable place to live, that your furniture arrives on time, that you don’t have to go too long without internet lol)
5 things to do AFTER you move:
- Pray some more. Because you can never have too much prayer, right? Ask God to lead you to meet the right people and go to the right spaces where your faith can grow stronger and stronger with each passing day. “As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17)
- Remember to stay in contact with family and friends back home, especially if you all have helped each grow stronger in Christ. This is something that I definitely wasn’t good at initially. *Sigh. I didn’t try hard enough to check in with my loved ones and keep them posted on what was new with me. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of valuable time with them that I can never get back.
- Continue to tithe. God loves a cheerful giver! (1 Corinthians 9:7) If you haven’t found a new church home yet, consider continuing to tithe to your old church until you do. God has blessed you with a new and better opportunity. Ensure that you are designating a portion of what you earn to further the efforts of the church.
- Find a special place where you can read, write, listen to worship music, pray, or simply just reflect on God’s goodness. I have had two places (one in Chattanooga, TN and one in Nashville, TN) where I have felt comfortable doing all these things. Alone time with God goes a long way in all times in life, but especially after a big move.
- Give yourself time to adjust. If you’re anything like me, about 1-2 months after you unpack all your boxes in that new city, you’re going to be sitting on the couch at 2am one morning eating a big bowl of cereal (maybe binge watching a Netflix series, maybe not lol) saying “what have I gotten myself into?” or “what have I done?” This is completely normal. I think…… I hope….. The point is, change often brings feelings of uneasiness and doubt. Be aware of these feelings but try not to give in to them too much. (Read “Grateful in the Gray (Area)” post for more on this topic).
*Bonus #6. Thank God for this wonderful opportunity to see a new place, meet new people, and do “a new thing”! It is an opportunity not afforded to some. John 3:27 states “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given to him from heaven”. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 further states “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Be grateful and be sure to openly and fully express that gratitude to the Father.
Ok that’s it! A total of 5 things every Christian should do BEFORE and AFTER a big move. Have I done all of these things before? Nope! But you know what they say, experience is the BEST teacher. I wish I had come across a list like this about 8-9 years ago. I seemed to have finances and the logistics of physically moving things all in place for each of my moves, but I totally neglected how to transition my spiritual life into my new physical space. I definitely think that if I had done better spiritual planning, I wouldn’t have run into some of the problems that I did.
I’ll leave you with a verse from Deuteronomy 28 to close. Verse 3 states “Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field”.
No matter where you are, remember the Lord is there and can bless and keep you. In the city or in the field; no matter if you’re coming or if you’re going! Blessed shall you be!
May your eyes, your head, and your spirit always BE LIFTED.
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