Newcomer testimonials

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We want to hear from you! Has Just Moved Ministry or an After the Boxes are Unpacked study affected your life?

Julee in Arizona

Our family moved to Arizona from Washington. It wasn’t a move we saw coming and not one we wanted. Susan Miller would call it a crisis move as we had to sell our home after a job loss. I was surprised by how hard the move was. I was an Army brat growing up and loved moving but moving as an adult after being in the same area for 20 years was different. We were very rooted in Washington and loved our little town on the Puget Sound. It was hard to go from hugging someone at every store I went in to, to no one knows me.

The After The Boxes Are Unpacked study ministered to me so much! Susan hit on every emotion and truly understood how difficult the transition was. I loved how she pointed me right back to Christ and the Word! I clung to the verses Susan gave us.

By the time I ended the study I couldn’t wait to give the gift away by leading a group study of my own! I wanted to help other women who were hurting and had no friends.

Michele in Arizona

On behalf of myself and so many women (& men), I am very grateful that you traded grits for guacamole those years ago. What a beautiful example of how God can use anything for good. Thank you for responding so strongly to the Holy Spirit’s calling. Your class, book, and materials have helped me (and my family) “unpack” so many aspects of our move and be intentional in establishing new roots. I’m still on my journey (aren’t we all?) but this class has helped me put things in perspective and helped me not to forget including God amidst the business of moving.

Carol in Arizona

I love and cherish this dear Christian community more than words can express! It is a lifeline for me! Just Moved has truly changed my life forever and I am so grateful to all of you for that blessing.

From Marilyn Ingram, Women’s Ministry Director, Austin Ridge Bible Church, Austin, TX

Our Austin Ridge Bible Church’s inaugural [After the Boxes are Unpacked] group just finished today with a brunch. What a celebration it was! …their first meeting… the women were sweet, friendly and of course a little reserved. But today! Such energy, such happiness, such friendships! The leaders gave the women a time to speak and I wanted to share what a few of them said:

“No one appreciated this class more than my husband. I had been in such a desert after our move. I can truly say the rain has come after a long drought (because of this class).”

“I have been in Bible studies for years, but nothing has helped me as much as this class has.”

“I love the range of ages and stages in this group. It didn’t matter what age you were because we are all going through the same thing.

“Through this class, I learned more about the emotions I was feeling. At one point, I thought I was crazy, but learned that there were more people feeling the way I did. WOW! Most importantly, I learned that I don’t need friends when I already had a best friend in God. Through many verses I found in the After the Boxes are Unpacked book, I could see things more clearly. I could trust that God had a hand on me and that He would never leave me.”

Thank you for your incredible ministry! We are so blessed to be part of it and to be able to point women to God through this class.

Connie in Arizona (soon to be moving again!)

Because of the [After the Boxes are Unpacked] group, core friends were met. Solid friendships have developed strong connections. We have laughed, prayed, cried, shopped, hiked, enjoyed so many wonderful local restaurants, shopped, shared holidays, traveled and dreamed together. Jeff and I have watched with excitement as these families have grown to include children and grandchildren… and now we too have a daughter-in-law!

Kris in Texas

I am attending the After the Boxes are Unpacked class at Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church. It is about a 25 -35 min. drive for me but so worth it! I am so thankful for these special new friends that God has placed in my life. They are truly a blessing! I am passionate about sharing Just Moved Ministry with others because it has literally saved me! 🙂 I thought I had prepared myself for what I would be feeling after our move but I wasn’t. I’m so thankful that a friend of a friend shared Just Moved Ministry with me! Thank you for contacting me. I am learning to bloom where I’ve been planted! 🙂

Members of the After the Boxes are Unpacked study at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC recently gave their feedback regarding this study.

I am thankful for this church – I look so forward to coming to mass every week, seeing all the smiling faces. LFIt’s been quite remarkable, so glad we’re participants at this church. Not many churches are welcoming like this. I feel closer to Christ and to the mission. CW
The book brings a spiritual connection to the move – helps you put your trust in God. HS

I had struggled with my faith and fallen away. But this church is different – so welcoming and warm. JB

My personal walk with God has been enhanced. SC-B

Here at St. Matthew, my husband and I want to make an effort to get involved. Loved the Welcome Matt. SA

I’ve loved this class, loved coming here each week, and now we just need to take this step to get back to church – and we will. EP

I know more people’s names here than I ever did at church back home. CO

This church is just different – there’s a vitality and spirituality… (tears!) SV

St. Matthew offers a feeling of belonging and it is SO organized, with the nursery and the faith formation – it makes it easy to participate. TT

Julie in Arizona

It has been almost 17 years since I arrived in Phoenix….single. The After the Boxes are Unpacked group “saved my life” as I didn’t know a soul. Some of my best AZ girlfriends are the ones I met in my class. Life has changed greatly for me since then and I still find myself longing for the “familiar” of Colorado. I think however that I have finally learned to cherish what I left behind and cling to what I brought with me….my gracious, loving Lord!

Members of the After the Boxes are Unpacked class at South Mountain Community Church in Draper, UT near Salt Lake City, wrote about their experience in the class. Here are a few of their responses…

Besides the extremely supportive friendships that have flourished in this class, which is an absolute bonus, I have learned to “cling to God” and “cherish the past.” When you go through such an overwhelming, life-altering change you may choose to question God and ask: Why? This weekly class brings you closer to God and helps you trust in His plan even though it can be a confusing and painful process.

I was skeptical at first that I could even gain anything from the class because of all my [moving] experience. I was pleasantly surprised that this class really helped meet a need I wasn’t even aware I had. Usually I just have to “suck it up” and move forward without pausing to allow myself the grief from a move, but I was able to do that, and I think that has helped this move be more positive than it would have otherwise. Where it usually takes me at least a year to find my “niche” and find friends and figure things out, I have been here only 5 months and already am finding that “niche.” This class is an excellent class. I think it will help in future moves. I would definitely recommend it to any woman who moves.

Just when I thought I had “everything under control” and was adjusting just fine to the move, I came across this class and realized I really needed some help. I had shoved all these emotions under a rug and didn’t want to even think about them, much less deal with them and grow! Boy, did God have other plans for me!!! I am thankful that Susan Miller wrote the book after surviving many moves. I can completely relate to what she writes about and it helps to make me feel normal. I can’t thank you enough for being willing to reach out and help others go through this crazy, wonderful, sometimes scary process of moving.

I have enjoyed the sharing, team-building exercises the most since it helps us get to know one another. Consequently, our “core” group seems to have developed a good deal of trust. I always look forward to our gatherings.

It has been a very positive experience. Even though I have lived here in Utah most of my life, I have been going through some major personal changes. So, I could relate to everyone. The class has taught me that everyone goes through all the emotions: depression, anxiety, fear, anger, etc. Everyone is working on letting go of things. It does help to be surrounded by people who want to have a close relationship with God.I am a new Christian so I have found the class helped guide me through my difficult times. I have embraced the scriptures we get every week. I have truly been inspired by everyone in the group. It is nice to sit and chat with everyone about everyday life stuff.I look forward to being long-lasting friends.

Thank you for bringing my relationship with Christ a lot closer.

Each week I walked in [the After the Boxes are Unpacked] class and listened to deep truths about Christ and how looking to Him can meet our unexpected needs after a move. I heard stories from other women who were vulnerable enough to share and it became such a safe, encouraging place. I cannot describe how incredibly encouraging this was in my life. I realized that it was okay to grieve my old community, the intimacy of my old friendships and the end of dreams I had that involved living in Houston. I learned the difference between clinging and cherishing. This class was the first thing I did in Arizona for me. I felt like I was dieting all week and once a week I received a big, rich piece of chocolate. YUM.
I’m most thankful for what attending this class did for my relationship with Christ and my husband. Neither of them was in their rightful place in my priorities. A fresh start has deepened my awareness of how intimately involved God is with the details of our lives.
Dawn – Arizona newcomer

In the short time that I was [in the After the Boxes are Unpacked class], I realized that I was not alone in my struggles. Many women in the group shared my struggle with loneliness, loss of family and friends, and culture shock. The book and video have challenged me to let go of the past and to cling onto God’s words. I am slowly learning to let go on a daily basis.
Shirley – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (In a letter written to Class Leader, Sue Wood.)

I truly feel like God led me to the [After the Boxes are Unpacked] class last year. It honestly was my saving grace. I don’t know how I would have made it through this past year on my own as a ‘single’ Mom without my newfound friends from the class. I’d love to be able to share how much the group has meant to me. It allowed me to open up to people who, though strangers, were friends of the heart before I ever met them. It was my safe place to come to cry, to laugh, to give and receive hugs. It was my refuge, my inspiration, and my rock. It gave me the strength to go on when I was too weary to try. Above all, led by your faith and teaching, I’ve been able to rediscover my love and trust in God. I feel welcome at church now, rather than guilty for not going as much as I should have. I feel comfortable with my faith, not afraid of it anymore. You have no idea what the class means to me. It’s my world.
Audra – Washington newcomer

This move caused major depression. No job, no friends, and no family; just trusting God for daily provision.
Bona – North Carolina newcomer

I have to say “Greetings from the Beverly Hills of Arkansas!” I attended [the After the Boxes Are Unpacked class] last year and it was the best thing to happen to me since I moved. I didn’t know a soul, didn’t have a church family or any women friends here. Just last week, my husband had a heart attack and I can’t believe all the support I received from my [‘After the Boxes’] friends and new church Family. What a blessing to have these people around you! The [After the Boxes are Unpacked] class started in January and slowly I began not being angry or crying constantly. God took me through the journey of unemployment for one year, gently reminding me “He” was in control…so trust!! I have also made wonderful friends in this class and we even meet every Wednesday since it is over.
Julie – Arkansas newcomer

This class has been a bright spot in my week. It was a safe haven where I could share my feelings unconditionally. It was a wonderful help in getting adjusted to my new home.
– Newcomer – St. Louis, Missouri

We did the class last September at Stonebridge Church in The Woodlands, Texas. You would be thrilled to know we have ‘Moved On’ but all of us still meet weekly and have become wonderful friends and sisters in Christ!! Thank you so much for this class!!
Shannon – Texas newcomer

Just Moved is such a grace-filled ministry which has blessed me so much. I found these words in 3 John 2:5 that remind me of each of you and the ‘After the Boxes are Unpacked’ class:

Thank you for welcoming me with trust, openness, hospitality, and genuine love. Your generosity was astounding! Thank you for your encouragement.
Cindy- Arizona newcomer

Wow, am I ever late, but better late then sorry! 🙂 I found out about this great study the long way around but when I found out about it, I knew I had found the answer to everyone who moves! I had moved away from 50 years of friends, family, etc. and it was like a death. Thanks for being there to help others. I would like to share this with someone who is up in years who is moving so she may know she has someone who cares about her on this earth!
Lois – Maine newcomer

After almost fifteen years of Florida living and the birth of our first grandchild we have moved on. What a heartbreak! Once again, after all that time, my husband’s workload required him to be in Alabama. This time we left behind our own flesh and blood. Needless to say, I’ve cried a lot.I’ve been attending an After the Boxes are Unpacked group that has served as a great support and have met wonderful new friends. I have my moments and days that are very tough to get through, but as you and I know, God is our strength and I will get through this, too. I know that He has a plan and it’s not to hurt me. Thank you for your service. Your prayers are appreciated.
Gaye – Alabama newcomer(A note written to Class Leader Susan Cloar)

I have been so blessed by this group and want to thank you for your time and effort. You and (Co-Leader) Sadie work together so well and have much wisdom and experience to share. God is using you in a mighty way.
Just this morning the Lord gave me [a scripture that] describes my life in this moment…
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever.
I will praise you forever for what you have done;
In your name I will hope, for your name is good.
I will praise you in the presence of your saints. -Psalm 52:8-9
I don’t feel lonely anymore and I have to give God the glory and praise. I am an olive tree thriving in the house of God!
Every village, town, and city needs a Just Moved Class. How I praise the Lord for Susan and the wonderful staff at Just Moved who see the vision and have passed it on to so many of us movers. May God continue to use this ministry all over the world for many years.
Penny – Colorado newcomer

We addressed the emotional needs with spiritual solutions – that, even though it feels like nobody knows your name, God knows your name and did before you were born. God is always with you.
Pam – Alabama newcomer

I participated in the ‘After the Boxes are Unpacked’ class in Richmond, VA and my husband and I will be moving to Wisconsin, so I am hoping to join a group there. It was such a great group of women that I met in Richmond; you all are doing a wonderful service for newcomers, so thank you so much!
Anne – Virginia newcomer

This study and our group were a lifesaver! It was so very comforting to have my moving concerns and experiences validated among our group of caring and warm Christian women, and to feel that connection continue. Plus, because our family hasn’t found a home church yet, I felt closer to God through these meetings.
Holly- South Carolina newcomer

Enjoyed the class immensely. What a wonderful ministry. The leaders were very knowledgeable and made the class so enjoyable. Would recommend Just Moved! to all ladies experiencing the emotions of a move.
Mary Ann – North Carolina newcomer

God has taught me so much this year. He has grown me and stretched me so much this last year and [the ‘Moving On’ class] is enabling me to end [my] journal on such a high note. It is literally a record of God’s faithfulness in my life.
Michelle- Colorado newcomer

These past few weeks in our ‘After the Boxes are Unpacked’ group have greatly helped to reinforce my faith and hope, which, until a few months ago, were totally lacking in a very empty existence. Over the past weeks, through this emotional time in my life, after reading Susan’s words so beautifully expressed in After The Boxes Are Unpacked, and listening to her words as our class leader, so filled with love for the Lord, I have felt so safe — so grounded and so inspired to move forward in God’s light. Even though I am not a newcomer to Arizona, I’m a new believer and have welcomed the opportunities to apply the disciplines I’ve learned to my path in Christianity.
Nancy- Arizona

The hardest part of moving to a new city, a thousand miles away from everything familiar, was not having anyone to connect with. This study provided me with a wonderful group of women who were experiencing the same situation, but especially women who were all connected in Christ. I have proudly kept connections with many of the women in my class for over a year and a half. The “After the Boxes are Unpacked” class provided me with a welcoming, encouraging and comfortable environment amidst an unfamiliar city.
Jenny – Ohio newcomer

(Letter to her Moving On Class Leader)
I wouldn’t have made it through my first four months here without the After the Boxes are Unpacked class every week. God knew that I needed to grow closer to Him and this was the perfect opportunity for me to do that. I needed to grow closer to Him not just to be able to make it on my own for those months with three kids while my husband wrapped things up in Florida, but also to live a more complete, fulfilled life. I needed to learn that I may not understand why things don’t always work out according to MY plan, but that I had to trust in Him to let Him act in my life and not question His actions–to have faith in His plan for me. I also needed to make a group of friends with the same values and beliefs who understood what I was going through and supported and encouraged me and to whom I could provide similar understanding and encouragement–a group of friends that I am sure I will have a special bond with for a long time to come. The study was just what I needed. Thank you.
Alysia- Pennsylvania newcomer

(Letter to Moving On Class Leader)
I just wanted to let you know that I have been so happy this month!! I mean really, really truly happy. My eyes are seeing the beauty in everything again. As I walk in the mornings I smell the sweet smells of the World. I hear the sweet songs the birds are singing and once again I thank God that I am alive. I see my children again and I realize how truly blessed I am. I had a very dark few months there and I never want to go there again. But I am glad that while I was there I knew you and the other ladies that were (rowing my boat with me). I have added people to that boat and I’m sure I will be for years to come. I don’t think I would have done so well had I not been in the Moving On class. The Lord led and I followed right into that classroom.
Cindy- Texas newcomer

I just completed the Moving On Class. It was GREAT!!! I was so impressed with the content of the book, After The Boxes Are Unpacked; it helped me so much. Just wanted to thank youand tell you I really appreciate the ministry that the Lord has given you.
Lynn- Kentucky newcomer

I can hardly find the words to express how this class has impacted me. The book and the study have moved me to become a better woman. I just wish I had this info when I was a young military wife moving across the country! Of course God’s timing is perfect. I truly believe that. The group has been a safe haven for me to face some things that I had tucked away deep inside of me. Thank you for the support and kindness you have shown me. The group has been a witness to the power of prayer and a reminder to me of the need for daily prayer and thanksgiving. I have been blessed to experience the love of Christ through you and the ladies of the group!
Michele – Pennsylvania newcomer

Thanks to all of you again for your ministry. This is our 7th move in 18 years of marriage. I think I would’ve handled previous moves much better had I had this information with some of my other moves. Praise God for it now. I thought this move would be sorta “easy” and it has been far from that. Your book and class are helping me tremendously to deal with all the emotions that come with leaving my closest friends, a wonderful church, etc, etc, etc.
Cathleena- N. Carolina newcomer

The After the Boxes are Unpacked class has become a bright spot in an otherwise dreary world. My mom read your book before I did, and called to encourage me to read it and to attend the class. This move has been a very difficult adjustment for our family. Despite the difficulties, God has brought me precious friends in a short amount of time, and I have been grateful. Our neighbors are also wonderful and the scenery is beautiful!
Logan – Virginia newcomer

Although I have always gone to church, prayed, and been active in church outreach programs, this is the first time I have taken a spiritual class. Through the class I felt that God had presented me with a gift and a chance to mend inside as well as out.
Jamie- Arizona newcomer

It took me about 5 minutes in the “After the Boxes are Unpacked” class to be in tears; tears that only flow when you feel compassion (from a stranger no less!). I was surrounded by women of all ages who were just like me! I was a mess because I just uprooted my children (ages 6 and 9) and moved to a big city where I didn’t know a soul. I couldn’t figure out the area codes, let alone how to find my way around town. I felt completely anonymous, invisible, lost, depressed, and very, very lonely.
Karen- Arizona newcomer

I wanted to thank you for beginning the “After the Boxes are Unpacked” study. I felt so welcomed and understood, and it was so good to feel “not lonely” for those two hours.
– Newcomer- Flagstaff, Arizona