Yes, this post is about how to manage and survive change- but it also implies that…..
WE ARE MOVING AGAIN!!
But, let me start from the beginning. I had decided over Christmas break that I was going to take off the month of January from blogging. I wanted to take a step back from my usual routine, spend more time reading through the heap of books in my “yet-to-read” pile, take more time to connect with family and friends, and take a month off to relax and relieve stress. During this break period, my husband got several calls from different recruiting companies and responded to one. This lead to several interviews, visits to this new city (two hours away from our current house and two hours closer to our families), and the realization that packing up our belongings once more to move was a likely reality. So much for reducing stress, right?
Within the course of a few days last week, Anthony accepted a new job offer, we started saying our goodbyes to our amazing church family, we listed our house on the market, met with a Realtor in the new city we will be living in and looked at 14 houses in one day (too many to keep them all straight!), and my love started his new job this week. I’m spending the week with him hanging out in our fancy hotel, trying to enjoy the last few days of the calm before the bigger storm of going back to pack up all our belongings in the house and move them to our temporary apartment in the next week.
Normally, I would be completely freaking out and stressed to tears. However, God has so clearly shown his hand in our situation, from bringing the opportunity to my husband when he wasn’t even looking for something new, to guiding us through the process with no hiccups, to paving the way for our move, to already providing people who are interested in our home, to showing us a few potential houses we could live in, and giving us a Realtor who is a leader in one of the churches on our “churches to visit” list.
So, with much prayer, debate, discussion, prayer, mulling over, stressing out, prayer, and anticipation, I can confidently announce that we are moving again. It is crazy that just four months ago we became homeowners!
I have loved making this house our home. We renovated both the bathrooms, did much needed yard work, installed new fixtures and appliances in the house, and very much enjoyed having a place to call our own.
If God hadn’t so clearly shown us that this is the correct next step for our family, I would be incredibly sad to be moving out of our first house. Even now, I am still saddened at the thought of moving from here, let alone leaving our church family and friends. But I am so excited to see my husband grow in his career, to begin another new adventure, and to have all the shopping and grocery stores I want (jazz hands for having a Meijer twenty minutes away!!) within a short drive instead of a two hour round trip. Oh, and being closer to family is not too shabby either (I’m actually ecstatic!).
I didn’t include pictures of how we have changed the basement or the renovation of our bathrooms (that will be a future post), but as you can see, there was no lack of space in our home. I just hope whoever lives here next will love it and dream in it as much as my love and I have. It has been such a fun few months making this place our home, continuing to have lunch with my husband everyday since we were so close to his work, and growing relationships in our church.
Obviously, many things are changing again in our life. From changing churches, to changes houses, to changing jobs, and changing cities. Nine months ago I was worried about leaving home for the first time to move out to a new state with my new husband to start our new life. In the past nine months I will have packed and moved all my belongings three times, lived at four different addresses, and gone through numerous changes to what had been my “ideal” plan. But through every change, I have been able to look back and see God’s careful handiwork. Every step of the way He has led me and my husband. Every change that seemed too much for me, He has carried me through. With every change that I have analyzed and thought about and will be making soon, I am realizing that God’s got this, even when I know I do not. His way is perfect, far above my own, and is the best case scenario for me and my purpose in Him.
So how does one move through change?
- Pray. Pray before, pray during, pray after. God knows every aspect of your life, past present and future. Turn to Him when change seems overwhelming. Trust Him before change reaches that point.
- Discuss. Before my husband even got serious about this new opportunity, we talked about it. We made a pro and con list. We thought through many scenarios, we talked about why staying would be best/worst, why moving would be best/worst. We thought about a year down the road. Five years down the road. Ten years. What was going to be best for us and our family?
- Debate. We questioned why this opportunity came up. Was this a test? A temptation? Was this phone call supposed to show us how good we have it now? Were we being called to move to a new city or called to stay here? We prayed that God would bring any little thing to our attention if this was the wrong move for us. We debated with each other; one spoke for all the reasons to leave, one for all the reasons to stay. We wanted to think through every aspect of this life change.
- Involve. We understand that we do not live on an exclusive island. The choices we make affect other people; our family, our church leaders, our co-workers, our companies, our community. So before we made a final decision (but after completing the steps above to see if it was still worth considering) we got others involved. We talked to our parents at length, on multiple occasions. We talked to our pastors to get their wisdom and prayers. My husband talked to his boss and a few of his close peers at work, so that they would not be blindsided if he moved on. Don’t just make a decision based on how you feel; you are not a solidarity creature.
- Pray. It’s important to keep praying for wisdom, direction, and guidance. Pray for peace about the decision. Pray for unity for you and the others involved in your decision. Pray for God to clear the way and light your path.
- Breathe. I need reminded of that often. Even good changes can be scary and intimidating. Take a deep breath. If this is what you are supposed to do, you will be able to do it.
- Prepare. Make a game plan for accomplishing that change. For me and my love, we discussed the steps we would take if he accepted the job- and I actually started staging the house and packing non-necessities before he even gave his final answer. We knew who we wanted to sell our house (and at what price we wanted to list it) and contacted them the week before. We talked about what order we were going to tell people at church and when. We had been looking at houses in the new city and knew what we wanted to look at and what we could afford. We did all we could to make the likely change go smoothly. I am a Type-A and wanted everything in order, so this step totally helped reduce my stress.
- Take Action. Once you feel more peace than fear, you’ve bathed the issue in prayer, you’ve looked at the change through many lenses, you have talked to others involved, and you have remembered to breathe (and maybe cried to release stress, that’s okay sometimes!), take action! Make that change happen. You’ve got this!
That is how I am moving through this change (and moving out of our house!). Hopefully I will be able to do an update and follow up post soon!