It all started during my husband’s final semester of architectural school when his school offered the opportunity to complete his studies in Florence, Italy.
Who knew this opportunity would be the precursor to seven unforeseen, often unplanned moves? God did.
If you’ve moved geographically more than a couple times, you may have crafted a method to minimize the madness of moving.
But regardless of how many times you’ve moved and how magnificent your method has become, you never fully escape the fragile and sometimes frenzied feelings that accompany any relocation.
Professional moving companies often give you a pamphlet that lists a step-by-step process. Even so, a prayed-for, positive move can still evoke the feeling of being displaced.
Jeremiah 29:11 has become my moving mantra: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares The Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope’” (ESV).
Even though our most recent and seventh relocation to Louisville was planned and positive, it still came with the emotional roller coaster.
That was when I was introduced to Rooted, a seven-week group offered by the Women’s Ministry at Southeast Christian Church’s Blankenbaker Campus. Rooted is specifically designed for women who are new to Louisville.
God used three specific occasions to introduce me to Rooted. His best advertisement came through my daughter-in-law (or as we affectionately call her, daughter-in-love) Carrie. She attended the program when she and our son, Scott, moved to Louisville four years ago. Carrie enjoyed it because it not only expanded her knowledge of a new city, but it encouraged her with Christ-centered community during a season of transition.
Rooted provided a wealth of information along with the much-needed encouragement in the midst of “being new.”
“Being new” affected each woman differently, but relocation brought shared emotions and experiences for all of us, and we were able to navigate them together.
The Rooted staff and volunteer leaders made the group terrific. We walked through the book “After the Boxes Are Unpacked” by Susan Miller. Each chapter honed in on a specific challenge relevant to moving.
In the chapter, “Remove Your Luggage Tags,” Miller writes, “I remember the emotional baggage I carried after our move to Phoenix. Even though the physical baggage I brought with me had long since been unpacked and neatly put away, I still had emotional baggage that had never been opened and looked at after our moves.”
The book presents both the practical and personal sides of any move.
Each member of the Rooted leadership team had a different personality and perspective which greatly enhanced the seven weeks. However, while each of their personalities and perspectives were different, their purpose and presentation was centered around Christ. Their love for Him was demonstrated by the way they loved each of us who attended.
Each week, a different member of the Southeast staff came and shared about their specific ministry, to help the women get more acquainted with Southeast and find different areas to get further connected.
After class, we were invited to bring our lunch and hang out just for the sheer pleasure of getting to know one another and the joy of community.
Rooted prioritizes “an atmosphere of authenticity” so that everyone can share their hearts and be heard. Leaders also scheduled some extra activities outside of the weekly meetings just for fun and fellowship.
If you are new to Louisville, if you’ve lived here for a few years and are still feeling unconnected or if you know someone who is new to Louisville, check out Rooted.
God moved us seven times for seven reasons to seven different places. I wish that for each move, a group like Rooted was available.
There have been other types of relocation programs, events or Bible studies; however, I have never experienced another program that was as caring, captivating and complete as Rooted.