About the Author

Annie F. Downs is a bestselling author and nationally known speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most recent books include 100 Days to Brave, Looking for Lovely and Let’s All Be Brave. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her at @anniefdowns.

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  1. Meghan is blessed to have found you in real life:) I know these feelings so well. I’m not single, but it’s difficult to lay down new bricks of my own, knowing that my children also lose their shared history with friends every time we move. It’s like living the experience four times over! Everywhere I look there’s material for building new memories, but it feels scary and exhausting when I try to build more than one place at a time.

  2. Annie, thank you so much for your words today. I moved to a new country just over a month ago, and the process of building new memories is even more difficult this time. I continue to say yes to opportunities to spend time with people, but there are moments when I just want to chat in person with a close friend. Thank you for the reminder that it takes time and energy to create memories.

  3. Yes you can pray– I live overseas, and the expat community is so very transient here. Few stay longer than three years, most are gone after 2. Please pray for a friend with plans to stay for awhile, or a native friend with whom I can really share my heart. Thanks!

  4. Please pray for me, I will be speaking tonight at my church for a ladies night. I don’t have any close friends there at all. And yet I feel like somehow God has placed me here to be in this church at this time and share my story. I have been an Army brat, meaning my father was in the military and we moved around every couple of years then I married my husband who was in the military so I became an Army wife. Always having to pick up and start over again. It became exciting to always pick up.. and now we are settled and in a place we are calling home to raise our family I am finding it difficult to cultivate new and lasting friendships. to me this is more difficult, knowing we aren’t moving soon and trying to find lasting good relationships is difficult.

  5. Annie,
    I write this to encourage all the single, divorced women out there. I had developed a lot of “history” as a married woman and when I became divorced I was faced with the task of making “new history” all over again, even though I had lived here in the south for 16 years. Many of the same traits apply – having to chart new waters, having to be brave, having to extend the hand of friendship. But, God, in His goodness, has been faithful to help me build a whole new circle of friends (yes, some of the old have remained). He calls us to use our experience to help others faced with our same circumstances. In every phase of life, God has gone ahead of me and prepared a place for me and I am confident He will do that for all your readers.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  6. It’s so true that we value the history most when it feels absent from our life. And a nod to Bev Duncan up there, as newly divorced single mother, I was able to keep many of the connections from the past. However, to open myself up to a different future and possibility, I had to make space in my life for something new. I’ve been dating a man for a year and half now…I love that we are at a place where we have HISTORY! I can remember what we did this time last year, and know his holiday traditions, etc. I value it so much since so much history was “lost” in the loss of my marriage.

    God is good. Our future is already part of History.

  7. So timely, Annie! I’ve been praying about the same things for myself; though I’ve lived in the same place many years, after a broken relationship and other life changes I find myself having to (and DESIRING to) feel like part of a community and make new friends. It’s scary because its alreay hard for me to make friends to begin with 😉 I’m also so busy with work, that while I am in and among people – even in church, other activities – I feel alone, like noone “sees” me. Please pray that I’d muster godly courage, and in fact that I would put on the heart of the Father so I can first see others and first love them! 🙂 Thank you Annie

  8. Annie, this is the first post I’ve read on incourage and it was divine timing! I recently moved back in with my parents and am looking to make new friends and create new memories. I would appreciate the prayers!

  9. My husband and I just moved back to our hometown after seven years. The transition has been hard, especially because we underestimated it. Returning to the home church I was born, raised married and on staff (!) in and being asked if I was a first time visitor…stung, There has been so much change here that, while geographically speaking it is familiar, we are experiencing all that aching and loneliness that comes with being in a new town. Its compounded by being surrounded with memories of all of that history, very surreal. I wonder if this is how the elderly who wax about the olden days feel.

    Prayers for community and reestablishing roots would be greatly appreciated.

  10. One of the things I struggled with when we moved from our home of 19 years was feeling like I lost my Sarah (went to live with Jesus at 9 months) all over again. Nobody in our new home had known her chubby legs and beguiling smile. It was a hard time in my life. “Stacking bricks…making a house of memories…” I like that!

  11. Hi. I would appreciate your prayers as my husband and I have moved again! This is our 6th move in almost 8 years of marriage. It is very hard for me to make new friends and yes, having that history with people. Especially since we both grew up in Mennonite homes and having that special bond… Thanks.

  12. Yes. We are moving somewhere soon… still not sure when or where, and it will be to a land where foreigners are sparse and the needs are great. Developing relationships when peers are only here for six weeks or more is hard, but I think that a new place where no one ever visits will be harder.

  13. Oh how this resonantes with me today…I have a group of 9 friends here in France, all of whom move back to America in July. After that I will know a few people here but it will be so much harder. The temptation is just to leave France and go home to the UK where I do know people, but even then they are scattered around.

  14. Thank you so much for this. . .it sure resonates with me. We moved 6 weeks ago to a completely new community. I have a health issue I am working on so hard as I try to heal from injury so can’t do as much as I want. Then winter seemed to last forever in the Midwest. All of those things have left me struggling if I am honest. I try not to think about it and to focus on the good things but I do miss good friends and a feeling of knowing people and places. We lived in our last house 8 1/2 years and in the area for 15 years. Praying God guides us to new friends and a church.

  15. Yes, you can pray for me! My husband and two kids and I just moved across the country. We have attended a church that we like for a few weeks now but I walked out of there yesterday morning feeling so discouraged. Not that it isn’t a great place, I just want to walk into a place where I am known! I had that exact same feeling of not wanting to introduce myself again… I know it will take time but right now I just feel alone.

  16. Yes. This.
    I’ve been in my current city for 10 years, and I have made good friends – while staying in touch with friends from my past around the country.

    But. I’ve also dealt with bouts of unemployment, and heartbreak due to breakups
    I’m in my early 40s now – and while I was suffering through unemployment and a break up at.the.same.time! – a few folks suggested looking for jobs in other cities. “You have nothing tying you here, you have the freedom to move.”
    Um. No.

    You can’t move to a new city as a single woman in your 40s. (You could but you’d have to be very different from me!) Are you kidding? Everyone my age is married with kids. It’s hard enough being in church in my condition – roundly ignored because obviously I’m just out to steal babies and husbands!!!

    Moving to a new city without a husband or children to soften the introductions — to give purpose to the introductions — hello social pariah.
    At my age, people have their friends, their social circles and they’re not looking to expand. Moving to a new city now? Suicide. Plain and simple.

  17. Ok, did you read my mind? We moved to Atlanta two years ago this summer from my hometown. I have been yearning for history…memories…inside jokes…sitting around with my peeps who KNOW my story…I SO related to this post. Thank you. It encouraged me. You reminded me that it will happen. It just takes time. Also to say YES. Thanks.
    Blessings,
    Allyson

  18. Wow, this is exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve recently made a huge change in my life. After living somewhere for six years and loving my life there I decided to move closer to family. I love being close to my family but I miss the life I had. I’ve been here 10 months now and I still feel lost and unsure of who I am in this new phase of my life. Thank you so much for sharing.

  19. […] Wanting History: ”I didn’t realize how much I valued history with people until I didn’t have it.” An encouraging read for anyone moving to a new place or who is wondering when the new place will start to feel like home. Enough Said. […]