There is a big difference between moving and transitioning. I see scores of people called by God to move into new locations in this season, and I believe He is RE-positioning many in the Body of Christ for His purposes. Over the years, I have watched people leave their community and struggle through the turbulence of entry into their new homes. I have often coached people to ask a small group of friends to commit to walking them through the transition for weeks or even months to come, like stakes in a tree until the tree can stand on its own. Now that we have walked through our own journey of transitioning, I wanted to add a few more gems that have helped us leave behind precious communities. Make a list of what you will need to leave behind and what is yours. You will have to leave things behind and the more you can identify what that is, grieve it and let it go, the easier it will be. Make a list of what is yours. You get to take many things with you, and it is important to realize that certain things are yours to carry everywhere you go.
When we left Redding, we determined that things like seeking His presence, worshiping, praying for the sick, certain relationships, hunger for God, adventures with Him, etc., were ours and things we get to take with us. The more you are aware of it ahead of time, the easier it will be to hold onto them. Conflict or friction sharpens us to become more like Him and is bound to happen in community. Make sure you ask the Lord if there is anyone you need to forgive and work that out in your heart before you depart, so you don’t carry that with you. Furthermore, ask Jesus if you need to make things right with anyone before you depart, so they don’t have to carry that with them. It is healthy to end well. Someone told me once we begin our journey to go to the city limits, get out, and literally shake the dust off. This is not a negative act but one that says, “I leave behind what is behind and press on towards what is before me.” We did this at 4 in the morning with our U-Haul; it was a powerful prophetic act. I could feel a shift in my spirit. The whole physical journey (drive) home was deep and rich. I allowed my mind to flow with memories, thoughts, and testimonies. I cried, felt uncomfortable and messy, yet by the time I arrived, I felt like I had drained so much of my process I was able to embrace the new. The other thing that surprised me was that I felt this strange oppression with former things when we arrived. I kept resisting but felt like I was managing it and not walking in freedom. Finally, someone who also transitioned years before shared that there are OLD GARMENTS of who you were before when you lived there. The minute she said that, I was able to shake it off and walk in who I am today, not who I was before. Very powerful.
Do not let old garments and identities attempt to lure you back. Community is built by intentionality. Do not wait for people to embrace you. Even though you are the new kid in town, be the leader in creating connections, community, and building relationships. These points have been anchors for me as we continue to process our journey into new territory.