Moving can be difficult for so many different reasons. Whether it be logistics of packing one’s belongings, trying to find housing over the internet, getting the utilities to turned on or another million other little things that have to get done.
Oh and by the way, you have to transition out of one lifestyle, which includes friends, community, climate, job, and family, into an entirely new way of living.
Have you made plans in how to transplant your spiritual life, though?
While your soul isn’t a tangible thing which needs to be packed, your physical environment feeds and nourishes it. It wouldn’t be prudent to go out and buy a tree without having a clear plot with rich soil, natural sunlight, and a nearby water source to plant it in.
So besides taking to time to plot the quickest road trip or planning a going away party, one must take some time to prepare their new home for their soul.Have you made plans in how to transplant your #spiritual life? Click To Tweet
Moving into Good Soil
“Other seed fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:8.
Granted, Jesus was not talking about moving per se, and falling into the good soil didn’t mean moving to a new location. But the principle can be used here.
So what type of ground will your soul be landing in? To continue the metaphor, what can you do before moving to ensure good soil for your spiritual life?
A great place to start is by assessing what kind of churches exist in your new location.
I just moved to the west coast and before I even started my search for a place to live, I started looking for Catholic Churches on the internet. That’s where your search should start too.
Another great source is your current parish or church. Many ministers, pastors, priests, or clergy have national, if not global networks, who are more willing to help someone like you flourish in a new community.
Next you should start to build relationships with these church leaders and fellow Christians in the area. After finding the churches I emailed every parish pastor introducing myself and seeking advice, guidance, and prayer for my upcoming move.
Many of the pastors recommended neighborhoods, active members to get in touch with, and other ministries and events to attend.
Through a few phone calls and emails I established a plan to attend a weekly youth group, retreat/bible study opportunities, and a home parish. Depending on your state of life you may need additional ministries or wish to find a charitable service to give your time to. What’s most important is that you have plan for the first two weeks.What’s most important is that you have plan for the first two weeks. #moving Click To Tweet
It’s one thing to plan it’s another live it. I’ll admit I was not prepared for how exhausted I’d be after a three-day road trip and furnishing a studio apartment. My hats go off to all the military families that make this move regularly.
It was a relief to have my plan and structure to lean back on. I know that without it I would have put off looking for a church, attending different events, or getting involved in the community.
It’s not that I lost the intention or desire, but setting up life in a new environment drained me of energy.
Moving into a New Church Culture
Another surprise that I hadn’t fully prepared for was learning a new church’s culture. One of the things I love about the Catholic Church is that every Mass in the world is celebrated in the same way. Yet the communities and culture of the parishes can vary greatly.
The church and community I left had been moving in a more traditionalist direction, while the new church was more in-line with modern practices. It saddened me to lose the unique atmosphere of my old parish, but I have slowly come to love culture of my new church.
You will experience similar situations. It’s only natural that communities shaped by different backgrounds and experiences will flourish in a unique fashion.
It can be nerve-racking, scary, and every ounce in your body might tell you this is wrong. But ride those emotions out.
This is not the time to change the plan. No need to add unnecessary chaos to an already hectic time.
Moving into Prayer and Reflection
One of my biggest regrets was not being disciplined during the first two weeks in my new home. It weighed both my spiritual and physical self-down, as I tried to process a new way of life.
I see now though that God is using this move for a divine purpose beyond my view and I can only glimpse it when I take the time to sit with him in silence and listen. I promise that while the time might seem unproductive from a worldly view, in reality, this time will make or break your move.
For anyone that is currently or about to move, please know that you are in my prayers.