Dear Coach’s Wife in a New Town,
It’s almost spring here in Central, IL which means that any time the sun peeks out I adjust my work schedule and head out for a walk. I was savoring a mid-day workout last week when my mind wandered to you dear friend. It’s moving season. I’ve seen your posts asking for prayer as you interview for jobs, prep resumes, list your homes, say your goodbyes, pack, pack, and pack some more.
I spent some time praying for your moves, for your kids, and for all that lies ahead as you yet again become the new person in town. There are so many good and hard things about moving. So many emotions to process. It’s one of those things we just can’t pray enough about right?
As I wandered past our youngest son’s previous elementary school, I remembered our family’s last move. The first day our son was so brave entering a new school in the middle of 4th grade. He was brave, but he also mourned all he left behind. He missed the familiar. He missed his friends. He missed his home.
I couldn’t help but smile as I walked past his current best buddy’s house. Who would have known that the sixteenth house we chose to look at in our 36-hour whirlwind visit two weeks before moving day would be the one that placed our introverted boy in a classroom with just the friend he needed to eventually help him feel welcome?
There was something else I realized on my walk. As my mind wandered, I did not have to plot out my route. I was not lost. The houses around me are all familiar and I no longer question which turns to take. I don’t need to pull up MapQuest when I end up on a back road that seems to take me in circles. These sidewalks are now my neighborhood.
Moving is never easy, but at the same time I don’t mind the change. I love the opportunity for a fresh start every few years and enjoy meeting new people.
But there is a difference between being familiar with a community and feeling at home isn’t there? Familiarity allows us a certain level of safety, but when we are at home we can rest.
I don’t know about you, but early on one of the coaches’ wives survival skills I developed was a strong ability to fake it until you make it. That skill has served me well as I’ve tried hard to blend into the crowd on occasion. It’s also what gives me the courage to figure out the new challenges that always seem to come up during football season. (Come on kids we can figure out how to get this internet set up! What do you mean we need to wait for Dad to put together the grill? We’ve got this!)
But we all know that there is a difference between finally remembering someone’s name without checking Facebook on our phone for reference first and actually remembering someone’s name, and the difference often comes when we start to feel at home.
So, here’s the thing dear friend, I’m praying for you as you transition to your new community because I know you are in the middle of all the hard things that come with moving season. I also know that even if you are over the moon excited about this new opportunity, part of you is grieving because once again you are in that space where everything is new, and it’s possible you aren’t the only one in your house that’s having a hard time adjusting. Know you are all in my prayers.
Just remember that soon enough you will find yourself wandering through your neighborhood and realize that the sidewalks that once led you down frustrating dead ends will soon hold memories that mark significant chapters for your family.
For now, ask the newbie questions, pull up the cheat sheet apps, cry if you need to when you make the third wrong turn AGAIN. Fake it until you make it and put on a brave face when you need to do hard things. It’s okay, because soon enough you will again feel at home.
How do I know? Because it eventually happens with every move. Sometimes we don’t even realize it until we’re out on a walk.