Faith Grief Journal Relationships

moved.

Written by Danell Will

Many of you might recall a post I wrote back in April announcing my family’s big news – an unexpected move from Nebraska to Arkansas. Well friends, it happened. On May 19th, a moving truck came and packed up our belongings and on May 20th, we waved a tearful goodbye and drove the 545 miles to our new town.

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a few weeks but have struggled because I, once again, don’t know how to put my thoughts and emotions into understandable words and because my thoughts and emotions have been changing on a daily basis. However, I believe I’m finally ready to try. Please bare with me – it’s bound to get messy.

I don’t really know where to begin which means I’ll just start at the beginning and see where it takes me (undoubtedly to a puddle of tears). 

We moved exactly a week and a half after I graduated with my Master’s degree (huzzah!) which means I had about a week and a half to prepare for the move. The time between the final decision to move and my graduation was filled with preparing for and taking my final exams, finishing my internship, and getting ready to host family. Not to mention selling a house and buying a house. After graduation, it was a pure and simple scramble for us to get packed and solidify details. During all of this, the actual move, and what it meant, was simply floating around in the back of my head. I never took time to let it sink in and fully understand what it was going to mean.

Then, the day came when the movers loaded up all of our boxes and our first home sat empty. It got real, real fast.

Before locking our front door for the final time, my husband and I looked around our house and remembered all the things that happened there and acknowledged that we were no longer the people who unlocked the front door for the first time. I then stood in our empty bedroom and sobbed. You guys, this was the kind of sob that wrecks your body. All of the things we built in this beautiful home, in this wonderful town, with all these amazing people… it was all about to change.

But change isn’t bad, it’s just hard.  I pulled myself together and my husband gathered me in his arms and we prayed. We prayed for the new homeowners – that they loved the house as much as we had and that He rain down blessings on them in their new adventure. We prayed for us – that we would continue to listen to His directions and that we could follow His path without hesitation and that this move would draw us closer as a family and bring Him glory. Then we locked the door and drove away.

And there was peace. It was difficult, but there was peace.

The next day, we loaded up our two cars and waved goodbye to our hometown. (Notice how I skipped over goodbyes to friends and families? Yeah… I’m not ready to go there yet. Just know, it sucked.) A short 8 hours later, we arrived in Rogers, Arkansas. The first few weeks were awesome – what we have deemed our “honeymoon stage.” We moved into our lovely new home and began to settle in. My in-laws visited us the week after we moved, which was so nice – it helped my daughter realize that she would still see the people she loved and it was comforting to me to have them there.

It softened the blow of the move a bit.

After they departed, we continued to get comfortable in our new setting – while my husband began his new job, my daughter and I spent our days going to the library, swimming, and shuffling pictures and pieces of furniture around in rooms. It wasn’t until a few weeks after the big move that the full realization of what we had done hit my soul. 

Shortly after we arrived in Arkansas, I got connected with a mom’s group through Meetup. We regularly meet for play-dates and Mom’s Night Out events. This group has been a God send for me – it helps me get out of the house and get connected to some awesome mothers in the area. It was after one of the Mom’s Night Out events that I had a major breakdown. Don’t get me wrong – I had a really great time. These women rock.

But as I looked around the room, an overwhelming feeling of loss and sorrow swept over me. I missed my people.

I missed familiarity. I just missed everything. In that moment, I struggled to keep it together and as soon as I sat down in my car and shut the door, I fell apart. I dialed my best friend and simply wept into her ear (and believe me, it was ugly weeping). I desperately wanted to drive over to her house in my pajamas and drink a glass of wine with her on her couch like we had done so many times before. But I couldn’t. I was 8 hours away, which in that moment felt like 30,000 miles. She listened like a good best friend does. She might have even cried with me like a good best friend does. Yet, the pain was still there and I fell into a funk for a few weeks.

Now, I know many of you have moved. In fact, I’m positive many of you have moved a much greater distance than I have. Some of you have moved many times. So while this experience is not new, it is new to me. While I like to pretend I’m spontaneous and carefree, I appreciate order and structure. I like to know what the next step is, and most significantly, I like to feel comfortable. Yet, here I am.  I  just walked into very unknown territory, where everything is brand new. I love that feeling when I’m on vacation – but this isn’t vacation.

I’m slowly getting out of my slump and struggling less and less each day. I’m getting used to my new surroundings but still feel lonely at times. However, I regret nothing. I’m still happy we moved and thankful for this opportunity. I’m incredibly grateful for this new chapter in our lives and this adventure God has given us. I know it will take time. Time to feel comfortable. Time to form friendships. Time to feel like this is home.

So in the meantime, I breathe in, I breathe out, and I give it to God.

About the author

Danell Will

Danell is a Kearney native who recently moved to Northwest Arkansas. She is the happy wife to a tall, bearded red-headed man and a mother to a feisty, but very loveable, red-headed 5-year-old girl. In May, she graduated with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and has since taken a short break from working and studying to be at stay-at-home mom.
She enjoys (in no particular order) dance parties in the living room, downward dog, a good cup of chai, books that want to make you stay up until 2am, meaningful conversations over a glass of wine, and reflecting on this messy, but always beautiful life.