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Moving? 10 Keys to a Smoother Transition

6. Plug into a small group.

When we moved from Charleston to Orange County, Calif., we left behind our friends, our kids and our grandchildren. It was the loneliest season of our lives. Fortunately, our next door neighbors invited us to their small group the day we moved in. Although the people in the small group weren’t like the people we’d left in our group in Charleston, we quickly formed new relationships. Everywhere we move, plugging into a small group is a huge part of adapting to our new home.

7. Start referring to your new city as “home.”

It is hard to feel like your new city is home. The weather, the people and the geography seem so foreign, how could this be home? A funny thing happens, however, when you hear yourself calling your new location home; your heart begins to believe it. I remember landing at the Denver airport not long after we moved here and saying to myself, “I’m home.” It felt funny to say, but it helped me adjust to our new reality.

8. Connect with others new to the city.

One of the major challenges moving to a new city is finding new friends. People who have lived there for a long time already have all the friends they need. They are like Lego blocks with no more open pegs. Look for others who are new to the city, they are looking for relationships as well. (A great resource to find new people is MeetUp.com.)

9. Cheer for the home team.

When we moved to Charleston, I hated NASCAR and I didn’t care about SEC football. My teams were the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Rockets. I figured out pretty quickly that following racing and rooting for local colleges was a great way to make new friends. Fortunately, when I moved to Denver I was already a Bronco fan. You don’t have to give up old allegiances, but find local sports teams you can root for. (I know this seems silly, but it helps)

10. Give yourself time.

People have told us that it takes two years to feel comfortable in your new surroundings. I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule; it depends on so many different circumstances. The bottom line is it takes time, and that’s OK. While you are learning to fit in, spend time with God learning what he is showing you in the time in between. I have learned more about myself and grown more in my relationship with God in the itchy times of moving than any other time in my life. Transitions can be a blessing.

Some of you have moved more than I have. What did I miss? How have you learned to make good transitions?