Before You Move

This past week, my wife and I had the privilege of meeting with two medical friends who are considering major life changes.  Their circumstances are very different – one is a PA choosing between two cities, another a nurse choosing between two continents.

The thing that impressed me about them both, though, is how absolutely dedicated they are to doing whatever God wants, even if it’s not what they would choose.  Although both want to go to a place that will prepare them clinically for what lies ahead, they are asking other, bigger-picture questions, too.  Questions like:

  • Is there a good church where I’m going?  If not, will I have the opportunity to help start one?
  • What kind of Christian community exists there?
  • How will my move impact the community where I already am?
  • Will I receive the kind of mentoring and discipleship I need?
  • Are there opportunities for me to use my gifts?

This may all sound obvious, but it’s not.  Many people in (and outside of) medicine make relocation decisions based primarily on what will be best for them clinically or professionally.  I’m not saying that it’s wrong to take these things heavily into account – it’s not.  But as Christians, we have to recognize that our lives extend far beyond our careers, and that has to mean something when we make real-life decisions.

James puts it like this: “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15).  As you think about where you’ll go to nursing school or residency, as you consider that attractive job opportunity, what factors do you need to think and pray through to make a balanced decision?  Regardless of the particulars, the entire key is letting God call the shots.  His will may align itself with yours, but then again, it may not.

In addition to prayer and thoroughly investigating the place(s) you’re considering, it’s important to talk to others, including those who are likely to disagree with you.  If we come with open hands and wait for God to make His will plain, we don’t need to be afraid of what He will show us.  I pray that you will experience God’s blessing on your next move as you entrust it to Him.


About Bryan Stoudt

On my personal website (, I help Christians follow Jesus in a noisy, broken world. I also have the privilege of helping Philadelphia's healthcare students and professionals do this as Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). More information at On a personal note, I'm fortunate to be married to my wonderful wife, Sharon. Together, we have four fantastic children. In my spare time, I enjoy roasting coffee, running, reading and learning foreign languages.
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