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Home Sweet Home
Photo: Ian Alexander Martin
The moving truck is gone and everything is unloaded at your new home. You have made it through the most stressful part of your move, right? Not necessarily! 

A few months after moving to Michigan where my husband attended seminary, I came across a list of the signs of depression. I was shocked to find that I had nearly every symptom. Adjusting to the move was much more challenging than I had anticipated. I had loved our previous home and community and had a wonderful group of friends there. Our new home just didn’t feel like “home sweet home.” In time though, I found many things to love and appreciate about the area and along the way learned some tips that have helped me to avoid the “moving blues” after yet another move.

Tips for Avoiding the Moving Blues

1. Give yourself time. I once heard that you should give yourself six months to adjust after a move and I have found it to be good advice. If your move has taken you a long distance from family and friends, give yourself permission to grieve that loss. For a few months after our move I would feel a pang of loneliness when seeing a car that looked familiar and instantly think, “Oh, there’s . . .” only to realize that they were over a thousand miles away. It’s OK to miss family, friends, your church, even your favorite shopping spots.  Don’t be discouraged, though everything seems strange and unfamiliar now, you will eventually feel at home in your new community.

2. Look for unique and interesting things about your new area. I have encouraged my children to look at all the positive aspects of a move. There will be new friends to make, new sights to see, new experiences to enjoy. There are positives and negatives about every place. Seek out the positives and you just might be surprised at the unique opportunities awaiting you. In spite of the stress of having my husband in seminary full time, I look back with fond memories of our times spent at the beach, the bountiful fruit grown in the area, the great church we attended and all the wonderful friends that we might never have met had we not moved there.

3. Get involved! Soon after moving, we were invited to join a local home school group. My children begged me not to go. “We don’t know anybody.” The night before, I almost convinced myself to stay home. Depression was creeping in again after the initial excitement of moving and I could empathize with my children. The next morning though, I determined that I would not sit around feeling sorry for myself. We would go and meet some new friends. We went and all the way home that afternoon, my children talked excitedly about how they were looking forward to going back the next week. I was so glad that we had gone. Look for opportunities to get involved and before you know it, you’ll have a whole new support group.

Don’t forget that God has placed you exactly where He wants you to be. He may have a special ministry waiting for you, opportunities to grow spiritually, emotionally and professionally that you never dreamed of.

Moving is often a bittersweet juncture in our lives. For me it has always been a time to reflect on the joys of the New Earth, where new experiences will not mean saying goodbye. “Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 21:20).

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Leslie Olin. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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