I do not know how many of you have had to make relocation moves in your life, but I feel like a bit of a gypsy. I have moved, in my lifetime, 39 times (excluding the times I moved in the military). This averages out to a move every 1.8 years. I did not plan to move this much, in fact, to me, moving is hard, painful, and extremely emotionally tiring. I have found that our enemy can be very active during a personal relocation move as well.
We are all pilgrims. We are all on journeys comprised of different motives and purposes. While we are engaged in our moving, we are in a time of liminality, of leaving one place and arriving at another. In this time of liminality, we face challenges of preparation, adjustments of timetables, and adaption of practices.
The challenges of preparation include things like packing, notifying contacts, engaging help, obtaining supplies, and dealing with all the implications of Murphy’s Law. Yes, there is a devil in the details. The time of liminality can be filled with frustration, anxiety, despair, and for some, physical pain. Some of these challenges can push us to the point of exhaustion or at least procrastination. I countered these challenges by using repetend prayers and striving to maintain the morning and evening offices (times of verbal prayer).
Adjusting to timetables involves the action or inaction of others. We do not journey in isolation. Our moving involves others. Our deadlines are not necessarily the deadlines of others. Needless to say, this too can lead to frustration, anxiety, despair, anger, and depression. The enemy will use such times of emotional strain to push us toward behavior and thoughts that do not honor our Lord. Again, what helped my most through this time were repetend prayers. When I found myself being short, caustic, or angry I would pray the Jesus prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner- this is a repetend prayer). I cannot express how often this prayer has brought centering and focus to my life during the move.
As far as the adaption of practices I found that if I was going to focus on grace and love I needed to take more breaks for times of prayer and reflection. Not only do we need to seek to maintain our regular spiritual disciplines, but we also need to intentionally plan to stop and give God time to refresh us and restore us. At least for me, I get more done when I take the breaks I need to care for my spiritual nature as well as my physical endurance.
Then the day arrives, the move is undertaken, and we pass from where we were to where we are going. We are tired, and stressed, but have a sense of peace because we intentionally included God in our move. I would really recommend such an inclusion. I can assure you the enemy will not like it.