January 4th, I woke up way before my alarm (a very rare event for me). I immediately rolled over and started shaking William, “Wake up! Wake up! We’re moving to Germany today!!!!”, followed by loud pitch squeals. (Clearly, my attitude has changed since that day in June, all thanks to the Lord above.)
We got to the airport entirely too early, with our passports and 350+ lbs of luggage in tow. A nice lady printed out our one way tickets to a country we’ve never been and then we paced around the Saint Louis airport for a couple hours, letting it all sink in — excited for our days ahead, saddened about what we were leaving behind.
After a subpar meal and a terrible night’s sleep, we landed in our new “home”, as the sun was rising. Although it was 2 AM our time, I felt wide awake. We had been talking about and preparing for our move to Germany for 6 long months…. and now we. were. here.
Our sponsor cheerfully picked us up from the Frankfurt airport to drive us 1.5 hours south to Ramstein Air Base. He was overwhelmingly helpful and kind, making sure we got checked into our Temporary Lodging Facility (TLF), got the keys to our borrowed car, and had a semi-stocked pantry to get us by a couple days.
We didn’t waste any time — we spent the rest of the day touring the base, getting our drivers licenses, buying groceries at the commissary, settling into our TLF (similar to an extended stay hotel room), semi-failing at laundry, and doing everything we could to fight the jet-lag.
Since then, we have started house hunting (details coming soon!), car shopping, opened a German bank account, slept awkward hours, smiled and pointed at things on menus, conquered the sudden winter wonderland, and began church “shopping”…
When you’re experiencing a new continent, country, city and culture all at the same time, community is going to be key. Finding a church community, specifically, is important to us.
So on Sunday, we went to the first church on our ‘list’ of ones to try. It’s been awhile since I’ve stepped into a new church and I was quickly reminded of how it can feel a little bit uncomfortable. Not knowing a soul, we took two seats in the left-middle and waited for some social cues.
After some familiar worship songs, the associate pastor took the stage, wanting to open in prayer for the New Year. I obviously can’t remember the prayer word for word but it started out a little something like this, “Lord, we know that you don’t mistakes…….. we know that you have every single person in this room in the season and place that you see best fit, Father. We’re trusting that you have us all exactly where you want us to be this year……..”
After such a life altering week, with my head bowed and eyes closed, I began to tear up. Because I wasn’t always trusting. Because the words felt directly for me — truth that I had (deep down) been fighting and now couldn’t deny. It was convicting that it had taken me so long to truly believe the very words I had offered months ago, as I continued to try to be the author of my life.
So if you are in a season, a job (or lack of), a city, a house, or anything that you don’t like or didn’t plan for, I would also encourage you to open your eyes and heart to the idea that maybe it’s actually best for you, in your Creator’s eyes. How different would our lives look, if we truly believed this?
I’m proof that sometimes it’s easier to be dreaming or planning for what’s next or better, instead of enjoying and embracing what’s best now. But I’m praying (because I am not capable of this change on my own) that I would have the faith and courage to live differently…
I’m praying that when I start to doubt, when I start to question, when I start to feel alone, when I start to feel less than enough… I would not lean on my own understanding, fears and sin, but instead, stand on the firm truth and grace and love, that IS Jesus.
That I would be reminded that even though moving to Germany wasn’t in my plans, it was always in His. And that His plans, are where I best fit.
**If you are in an abusive or toxic relationship/environment, then of course that changes things — and I would encourage you to tell someone about it, because you we’re made for so much for. I am here for you, too.