Moving on

I do not know if I have previously written about this but I have had my house on the market for months. It has been such a long and drawn-out process trying to sell my house and at the same time trying to find a house in our budget. After months of looking, bidding, accepting offers on our house, offers falling through, being out-bid, and searching some more, I can finally write that I have moved from my house in Cranston to a house in East Providence. This whole process has taught me a lot but I would have to say the biggest lesson I learned was that I never want to move again!

I am all moved into my new house. Most of my boxes are put away but I still have plenty of boxes to unload. As much as packing and unpacking has been a complete nuisance, it has also been so freeing in some ways. As I was packing up my own house, I was amazed to see how much junk I have collected and saved over the six-plus years that I had lived there. You find stuff that you did not even know that you owned, things that you had put in a corner years ago and have done nothing but collect dust. 

I purged my closets and drawers of many items that I had not worn in more than a year. I eliminated boxes, dishes, cups and pans that hadn’t been used since we got them. It felt so good to rid my life and my closets of unnecessary objects. When we started unpacking at the new house there was even more items that we just did not need and the pile for the trash began to add up. Again, it felt so good to be getting rid of things that were excessive. 

All of this purging got me thinking about all the other times in my life that I just had to pack up and move. It reminded me that there are things in the closets of my heart that need to be cleared out. It reminded me that there are always things that we hold onto and carry around with us that we should have disposed of years ago.

Bestselling author, Melody Beattie, once wrote, “Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.” Letting go of whatever we are holding onto allows us to have open hands and hearts to receive what God has in store for us. 

For me moving was just physically exhausting but it was also emotional exhausting. I have lived in Cranston my entire life except for three years. Most of my memories and stories are connected to Cranston. Almost every memory of my dad and my brother are connected to that city. I was leaving a house that held memories of both of them and moving into a house that would never know them. Those feelings and emotions were just like some of those boxes and knick-knacks that had been hidden away in corners, waiting to be moved or handled. While it was hard to move from that house, I know that God was putting me into a new place that would be a place of grace and growth. I also know, that while my house may never know my dad or my brother, their memories will continue to live here as long as I continue to share them. 

Just like with our material items, every so often we need to clear our hearts of all those heavy items that are no longer useful to us and are just taking up space that could be filled with grace. We need to clear out the anger, the hurt, the sadness, the disappointment and the pain knowing that they were never meant to be ours to hold onto. 

I think singer and songwriter Paul Anka said it best when he said, “I’ve always believed that if you don’t stay moving, they will throw dirt on you.” We need to keep moving forward and sometimes that means leaving behind the things that are too heavy and too dusty to carry.

Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in East Providence, R.I. She can be reached at

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