Since I made about every major life change you can make last year, including a cross-country move, my friends at Just Moved Ministry invited me to share my experience with their readers. They’re committed to the spiritual growth and emotional well-being of women who are uprooted by a move or any life change. If you’ve moved or are considering a move, please visit their website and be inspired! You can also subscribe to their free print publication, Bloom.
Job changes once moved me, my husband and our daughter (plus a dog, and don’t forget the goldfish) from Ohio to Tennessee to South Carolina then back to Ohio in less than two years. We referred to our old house, our old-old house, and our old-old-old house! Last year, we made yet another move to Colorado.
Somewhere on that journey God broke my heart for my neighbors, and I decided to get serious about Christ’s #2 Command—
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37–39 NLT
Having been on both sides of the moving boxes, unpacking them myself and peeking at my new neighbors doing the same, here’s what I’ve learned about how to love your new neighbor:
When You’ve Just Moved
- GO You’re busy finding the cat food and making beds and wondering why you moved fruit cocktail that expired two years ago (ok, maybe that’s just me…). But take a break, take a deep breath, and go meet a neighbor. This is a perfectly natural time to say, “Hi, I’m Amy, we just moved in across the street so I wanted to say hello.”
- KNOW To remember your neighbors’ names, create a contact on your phone. Add the word “NEIGHBOR” so you can quickly search these new, nearby friends.
- SHOW Invite a neighbor into your home—they’re dying to see what it looks like! You’ve got the perfect excuse for a messy house, and you’ll be amazed how home fellowship fast-tracks the friendship process.
When Your Neighbor Just Moved
- GO You know she’s busy, but if you don’t introduce yourself soon it may be years before you get the courage or opportunity (ok, maybe that’s just me…). The best time to meet your new neighbor is within a week or two after they move in. The second-best time is now.
- KNOW Write down your and your family’s names, your address, and phone number. Invite her to any online neighborhood networks like Facebook groups or NextDoor. Stop by your local visitor’s center and pick up local maps and brochures of your favorite restaurants, doctors and stores. I still refer to the welcome packet my neighbor, Tricia, delivered to my door!
- SHOW Invite a new neighbor into your home, and a few other neighbors as well. When a new neighbor hosted a lovely luncheon to introduce me to her friends, I was delighted by her hospitality and graciousness—and I went home with more friends than I could have met on my own.
Go to your new neighbor’s home, know that God has placed you in your neighborhood for a purpose, and show God’s kindness in the process.