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Making a Move

by Louise Lee  
3/21/2015 / Christian Living

Making a long distance move was the toughest decision that I have ever made. First and toughest one was when I declared my independence, leaving Hong Kong my birth place to Singapore alone. Second one was to take up a one-year mission stint in Vanuatu with a team of ten people, leaving my job of ten years. My experience of moving has taught me great lessons, that include things that I did right and things I was ignorant of. I would like to share this with people like you who are contemplating making a long distance move be it a career change, migration or going on a long term mission trip.

First Thing First

The first thing to do is to come before God and pray over the decision. Ask God for any Scriptures that He enlightened that in your heart that may reveal your motives and attitudes. Meditate upon those words, and apply those truths to your life. Wait on the Lord until you have the peace, only then you should consider proceed with planning. As God desires to guide us in our planning, commit your plans to God, He will straighten your path and open doors of opportunities that you will never imagine.

A long distance moving involves leaving and entering. If you leave well, you will enter well. Ask yourself some significant questions before you decide on making a move: Why am I considering this option? Do I have a choice not to? Will I regret if I do not make this move? Is this the right time? Who are involved in this decision? Will this move affect my relationship? Do I have enough information of my destination? How long should this move be? Am I coming back? Should I make a move?

If you have well considered all the above questions, you are ready to take the step of faith. This is a step of faith because you are stepping into an unknown future that affects everything in your life. I ranked this the second most important decision other than choosing a spouse. You can't afford to take this lightly.

Reason for Leaving & Entering

"Why are you making this move?" "Why am I considering this now? Not later, not earlier?" Many reasons for move are positive ones and many are negative ones, answer the question honestly. If your negative answers outnumber your positive ones, it is better that you hold on to this decision. This is an indication that you should not make the move. You should resolve the negatives first, until your positive reasons have become your strongest motivation to move on to another town or city or even country.

"Why are you moving to this particular country or city? Have you done enough research about the place you are going to? Do you have friends or relatives there? Are there major cultural differences you have to observe? Are you welcome? How are you going to support yourself and your family when you get there? Again you would have good and bad reasons for entering. Don't look for perfection because there is no perfect place to live on earth, unless you are moving to heaven!
After you have done the research, weigh the pros and cons; you are now another step closer to make a move.
Of course, if you receive only a word from the LORD "to go" like Abraham, just makes sure you have heard God. Nevertheless, internet allows us to make a quick factual reference before we move.

Get Ready Emotionally

Emotional readiness or stability determines how successful you are to live in another country. Let's take one step forward by asking yourself a question, "Are you ready emotionally?" This question is for anyone who is serious about making a long distance move. Without asking this question, one would have underestimated the possible emotional impact on him/her as individual and also on people around them.
Other questions you should ask yourself should be: "Are you running away some unpleasant situation back home?" "Did you plan to inform your close friend and family members?" "Are you family members for or against this decision of migrating or moving to another country?" "Did you involve your immediate family members in the decision making process?" If you have all positive answers for the above questions, you are most probably emotionally ready.

On Your Mark
Once you have determined to leave and to go and emotionally ready, you need to set a realistic goal or time frame to put into action. How much time do you need to settle all your issues back home? Like unpaid tax, repayment of property installment, coverage of insurance policy, closing bank accounts, business accounts, and all your personal assets etc. How long will you need to take to clear all you documents, financial statements, travel documents, residence application, and so on, before you leave? Is this meant for long-term or short-term? Who will look after matters for you during your absence?

Set a realistic time frame to work towards the goal eventually make a move. The preparation can be up to one year. Any time frame that is longer than a year will lose the urgency, that moving might not be an option to consider. Nothing stays the same for long; all research should be done and applied within one year.

Set a date to leave, do not procrastinate, unless there are important matters that call for your attention that your move is not a right one or timing at least timing is not right. Once you have set your date, make sure you have included time to say goodbye to important people in your life. They might not need to fully understand why you made a move, but at least they are informed, and at times you do need blessings from your parents.

When you cross culture, prepare for cultural shock, setback and give time for adaptation and adjustment. Give yourself time and your family time for adjustment. Normally, individuals take two years to fully settled and adjusted; the younger you are, the shorter time you may need. Five to ten years is about right to decide if there is a change of citizenship. The golden rule is do not rush into any long-term commitment before you are very certain; that includes marrying a person in that country.

And lastly, always have a plan B, or an alternative plan, take life proactively! Of course, make sure that is not of the flesh that is for a door of escape from God's will. God doesn't always provide a plan B. Choose to obey!

Bon Voyage!

Louise Lee
(My first illustrated book Psalm 23 for Kids is now available at

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