So what do you do if you’re the friends being left behind? Before we moved back to Michigan, I always felt at a loss for how to help friends getting ready to make a major move. I would offer to help pack boxes, but often people either are paying movers to pack or they need to pack the boxes themselves so they know exactly where everything is (that was me when we moved!). We can help load a truck, but beyond the actual packing and loading, there is so much more you can do help make your friends’ transitions a little sweeter. (Ok, maybe bittersweet like a good dark chocolate!)
1. Pray over them. There is something so incredibly powerful about praying out loud for each other. I’ll never forget when our Florida friends gathered around us, put their hands and arms around us and prayed out loud for the safety of our move and our future in Michigan. It’s a moment in time I will treasure for the rest of my life.
2. Create a one-of-a-kind going away gift. Our friends surprised us with a unique piece of art for our new home. They painted a canvas black and at our going away party, each person put their handprint on the canvas. It now hangs in the family room in our new home in Michigan. Every time I see it I remember how special those friends are to us and how they each left their unique handprint on our lives.
3. Give a bag full of goodies for the trip. One of my dear Florida friends gave us a large tote bag full of surprises for the long drive to Michigan. She put in it some of our favorite homemade treats as well as new movies, games, and activities for the kids. It was such a lifesaver, especially since I didn’t have time to prepare something like that for the kids myself.
4. Give a meaningful card with a note written inside about how much they mean to you. I treasure the cards that my friends gave me when we left Florida. I read them every day for weeks, often with tears of gratefulness in my eyes. Have the kids make their own cards and drawings too. Our bedrooms were wallpapered with notes, cards and drawings from our faraway friends for the first year after our move. And might I suggest some cards from Dayspring, like maybe this sale pack of friendship cards? I just got a box of Dayspring Cards in the mail and I love, love, love them. I have sent out half of them already and the messages inside are meaningful and filled with Scripture. And then, send a card to their new address within the first week or two after their move, again reminding them how much they mean to you, like maybe this pack of Sassy & Sophisticated cards. I had a few friends who sent cards and little packages in the first few weeks after we moved. When I saw their familiar handwriting on a package, my heart leapt for joy. (Can you tell how much cards and little notes mean to me?!) Those first few weeks of transition can be so stressful, and little notes from the people we were missing so badly cheered us up.
5. Photos. We can never have too many photos of the ones we love. Fill up a little photo album with some of your favorite memories, or give a photo frame with one of your favorite photos in it. Trust me, it will earn a spot of honor in their new home! I happen to be in love with this set right now – and there are about three friendship photo frames that I absolutely adore and will probably be getting for some friends who are moving!