About the Author

Angela Nazworth is a shame-fighting storyteller who writes mostly about the beauty of grace, faith, friendship, vulnerability and community. She is a wife and a mother of two. Angela's also an encourager, a lover of good books, coffee, girl's night out, sunshine, and waterfalls. In the 15 years since she...

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  1. Angela,
    I, too, am from Pennsylvania (where did you grow up?) and I have also made several major moves around the country. The verse that has been my cornerstone in moves is Exodus 23:20 which says, “See I am sending angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.” I take great comfort knowing that God goes ahead of me in all my moves and cares enough to prepare a place for me. My job, then, like you said is to be intentional about the people. Making new friends is a job, in a sense. I found that the world often didn’t come running to me…I had to go out and offer the first handshake. I had to look for ways to get connected. I also allowed myself time for this new place to feel like home – a year minimum is my usual answer. Praying for you Angela in this new, scary, and exciting adventure. I know you’ll bloom where you’re planted!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

      • Good afternoon. I moved over 20 years ago as I wanted a fresh new start and new experiences. It took a few years to develop a foundation of friends and family but my husband and I did it. God led us to a wonderful church that we have remained faithful to for now almost 22 years. I recommend to any girl wanting to be the “new girl” to seek God and pray that God leads them to a place that He wants you to be, a place that will grow you in Him and touch lives for the Gospel. He will strategically place you there… A place a joy and strength!

        Blessings,
        Tracey

  2. Thanks for these hard-won words of wisdom. I’ve attended the same church for something-teen years, and every now and then I dream of pulling up roots and starting over somewhere else, craving the anonymity, the freedom, and the zip of a fresh pond in which to swim.
    Then I remember the gift of all those relationships, formed in the trenches of ministry and raising kids.
    Yep.
    I’ll stay put and be the “old girl” who welcomes and loves the “new girls.”

  3. Over the years I’ve learned that I need to be intentional about getting involved in a new place. As an introvert, I’m much more comfortable staying in, but I also understand that God intends for us to have interactive lives. I have to deliberately choose to go to the Bible study, say “yes” to the invitation, or volunteer for a task that involves new people. As a result, I now have the privilege of teaching others, participating in areas of personal interest, and have been gifted with people I know will be life friends, as well as sisters in Christ.

  4. I grew up in a small town and joined the military, married and soon was on a journey moving many, many times. I have made so many friends, some very close and treasure those friendships. I have learned to keep those friends close, social media, email makes that easier. However, life happens, and due to some difficult times I found myself withdrawing, putting up walls. I then found myself being the “outsider” everywhere I went. Withholding, not putting myself out there. Now, I’m attempting to settle in, stay in one place, get involved in a community and “put down roots”. After 25 years….I’m looking to God to pull down those walls and help me on this path, because it is about Him, not me, and about my calling in life, my purpose in serving Him. Thanks for this post.

    • I identify so much with what you wrote about the season in your life where you became the outsider. I also went through a season where I put up walls and made little effort to connect to those around me. I’m so thankful that I left those walls behind and am praying that God will tear down the walls in your life. ((hugs))

  5. Angela, I so enjoyed reading your post this morning. Your desire and perspective on being the “new girl” is what I wanted in small-town living. Growing up as a military brat, I was the new girl more than I liked. When we moved from Germany to Texas, I was so angry with my dad. I swore to never move once I had children. In my elementary years it was hard to leave my friends. In my middle and high school years I coped by reinventing myself, starting with a new name (nickname). I needed to feel like I had some type of control in a world where you moved on command. In the end, name change or not, I was who I was. As an adult, I followed my father’s footsteps and joined the military. However, after four years I separated for “freedom” and to have children. I live in a small town that I’ve grown to adore.

    As the new girl in a small town I felt accepted out of curiosity, but there’s a history the ladies share that unintentionally kinda leaves me on the outside. With God in my heart, I feel like any place can be “home-like,” but I guess I’ll never feel completely Home until I’m with the Father.

    • Oh Latoya, thank you for sharing. I completely get that feeling of acceptance yet disconnectedness when not sharing the same history with people. And you are so right, we will never completely belong anywhere but heaven. I’m excited for you as you continue on your new path.

    • Latoya, thank you for sharing your heart :). I really appreciate your words that we may never feel at home except with the Father. Such hope in those words 🙂 Thank you for shining that light here 🙂

  6. So glad to read this today. Unlike you, I’ve moved rarely. 4 years in college. 1 year teaching in an area about 1.5 hours from my family home. Those were thirty years ago. Other than that I’ve lived in the same area for my entire 55 years. Now, my husband has received a promotion and we will be moving to another state. It’s exciting and terrifying at once. I will need to find employment. We will need to find a church. I know it can be done and I know that God comes with us. Periodically the thought of it is overwhelming. Thanks for your post today.

    • Hi Ellen! I will be praying for you this afternoon as you prepare to embark on a new journey. How exciting! Although i do understand the feelings of sheer terror as well. God not only goes with you, but He has gone ahead of you and is already working out blessings of friendship and hope in your new home. Much love to you!

    • Ellen,

      Prayers for the move to be a smooth transition for you and your family. May God guide your steps and help you navigate this journey! I pray you find a nice church and good friends quickly!

      Blessings 🙂

      • You are very kind. Thank you for reaching out. It’s an exciting time but I’d be lying if I said it’s not bittersweet. We have a wonderful network of friends and church family. I keep telling myself we will still have them AND get to have a whole new group in our new location. Thanks again. Blessings, Ellen

  7. I’m about to be the new girl…HOW HAVE YOU DONE THIS 11 TIMES?! This will be my 4th and I think I’m just old and tired 🙂 I trust Jesus to inspire my heart for new relationships. I know He will work through the process and the hard work it takes to reach out and be included! Thanks for the encouragement today…letting go of all the knowns and embracing the unknowns is where I’m sitting today.
    ~ Jen

    • Jenny,

      Prayers for this move to go smoothly! May God guide your steps and provide friendships along the way! May God send peace and contentment to your heart!!

      Blessings 🙂

  8. Hi Angela
    Well I am a new kid in church community, I am finding it very hard to fit in. I am an introvert and older then most of them and not much in common. I have been aloner most of my life it’s safe and comfortable. I am going to go to another church this weekend but not sure if I am running away from what God want of me. They are very sweet people but they have there own friends I think it may be hard for them to get to know new people. Where I see the connections they have with each other it hurts. I feel like I am back in school being shunned. I know thete are old hurts there from the past. I know that God is faithful. Please pray for me that I will able to hear his direction on my life . Thanks

    • Sweet Barbara, I understand what you are sharing, how it hurts to reach out and not have folks reach back. I’ve had to learn to not give up hope, to seek the Lord in those around me, to find those points of connection when I want to stay in a shell. You are so right that God is faithful and its in these places that He draws us to Himself in deep relationship to heal those wounds. Trust in Him and He will show you the way 🙂 Praying for you, dear sister, that He shines the light of His lamp onto your feet today 🙂

    • Barbara,

      Praying for you sweet sister! May God show you the right church with a great family! Prayers you can find and make good friends. It can be hard making new friends when you are introverted and used to being alone. Prayers for God to guide you along this journey!!!

      Blessings 🙂

  9. Angela, I thank the Lord for you post and pray that He grants you and your family much joy in your new move. It can be so exciting to enter a new place 🙂 I have been the new girl many times too 🙂 I have discovered that, like Latoya, there can be acceptance but also disconnection despite the best efforts to connect and be involved because of cultural exclusivity, which can be lonely. Yet keeping my eyes on Christ, checking my heart, and that it is all about His purpose and people helps ease that loneliness. I pray that we each embrace His goodness in each new place that He leads us 🙂

  10. After living my whole pre-marriage life in the same town, I’ve moved 8 times in less than 30 years of marriage. Once 3 times in 5 years. There is something so freeing and wonderful about being able to start over again and turning a new chapter over, but there is also sadness and a missing of really belonging and connecting with people long term. And yes, I often feel like the odd one out because I am the new one without a long history with others. We have now lived over ten years in the same house, same town (of course), and our son is having a totally different kind of childhood than our daughter who moved all those times with us, but one. And yet, all that moving brought many beautiful moments and memories and friends. I will cherish all those moves, but I am now really enjoying staying put in one place. A place we are hoping to stay long, long term. I can relate to your story, Angela, having been on both side of the fence.

  11. I am convinced you wrote this *just* for me. Our family is moving to Texas in a couple of weeks and I am feeling all the feels. I needed to be reminded that this is about people. Our move is more than just about a career opportunity for my husband, it’s about the people we are going to meet and love!

  12. I have had two major moves in my life. With each move i somewhat severed the tires to the previous place. I one day realized this and discovered that the reason was because each move changed me for the better and i lost touch with the pass and the people. I have realized that i do not actual like this fact and now would like to reconnect some how. But i like who i have grown up to be in christ and would like to just be me with those from my past.

  13. Angela,

    Prayers for your new job and journey to go well. May this be the last move for a while! Being the newbie can be fun, but also frustrating. I have often thought of moving elsewhere, but then I would have to relinquish my close friendships. These friends mean the world to me and I don’t want to leave them! I am staying put!!

    Blessings 🙂

  14. This is helpful – I’ve been in our new place for a year and am finding it very hard to settle and even harder to make friends. It’s an urban priority area, huge poverty and deprivation, and demographically unlike anywhere I have ever lived before. I have invited so many people to my home for coffee or lunch – but had no invitations back and feel no real connections are being made !! I am seeking God’s way in to this place – I know he has called us here – would really appreciate any insights !