Move over back-to-school! Ladies Bible Study at our church was back in session yesterday! The morning was filled with excitement, chatter, greetings, smiles, yummy food, and renewed friendships. Our classrooms were filled with ladies hungry for fellowship and more of the Lord. So much fun!
My anticipation for the start of Bible Study was just a little different, though. My heart and prayers were for those ladies who were feeling a little uncertain, and perhaps, overwhelmed. Those that might not have had any friends to connect with at Bible Study... who might have been a bit nervous about showing up for the first time. I have the privilege of leading the newcomers class: "After the Boxes are Unpacked". My goal was to be welcoming and encouraging to whomever the Lord brought my way.
Our class uses the book After the Boxes are Unpacked: Moving On After Moving In by Susan Miller. This excellent resource addresses the issues of moving for women, beyond the logistical and practical. Moving is a very emotional experience for women! Even if it was a planned or wanted move, women can experience a lack of identity, grief, loneliness, loss, and more... all while trying to get settled and keep their family running smoothly.
I have just a little experience with moving, too. I have been in Charlotte for less than 3.5 years and am living in our 3rd residence since we got here! (And I still have a lot of boxes to unpack...) Prior to that, we spent 9 years in Colorado. We lived in the Colorado Springs area for 7 years, in 4 different homes. Our last two years in Colorado were spent on the northeast side of Denver. Prior to our move to Colorado, we came from Southern California. In the 13.5 years my husband and I have been married, we have lived in a total of 10 different homes!
I do enjoy being able to share my moving experiences with other ladies who are settling in. With all our moves, I can relate to so many of their experiences. I also pray that I am able to offer support and encouragement.
Psalm 84 offered me so much encouragement through our transition to Charlotte. Verse 3 reminded me that the Lord cared about me having a home and that He would provide. But most important, was for me to continue to remain close to Him throughout the journey. I pray that He will help me to lead other women closer to Him as well.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.