A year ago today my husband and I boarded a plane with 350 lbs. of luggage, our passports and one way tickets to a country we had never even set foot.
William was the clone of a 6-year-old boy on Christmas morning and I was … well, doing my best to keep my anxious thoughts at bay.
Moving to another country, another continent, was entirely out of my comfort zone. If you have been walking this journey with me for a while, you know that I cried like a baby the day we found out where we were moving to (check out the picture for proof!).
It seems I was one of the few military spouses who wasn’t absolutely thrilled to be moving overseas “on the goverment’s dime”.
But with time, the Lord hushed many of my fears and worries — and actually instilled a small sense of expectancy in my heart. Enough for me to at least prepare for take-off with a smile on my face.
The Lord was so gracious to us in the months following our arrival to our new home.
We moved into our 1st-choice house, all our stuff arrived without even as much as a scratch, our rental house became a home, we found and got involved in a bible-teaching church, we quickly developed lasting friendships, and we managed to survive buying groceries & running errands without knowing the language.
Before long, I started to realize that Germany wasn’t so bad after all — if fact, there were even things about it that I preferred to the United States (gasp!). The people are helpful, the food is fresh, history abounds, life is slower, traveling is inexpensive, and most importantly… the Lord wants us here.
I’m glad my tunnel vision finally expanded. I hate that it’s so easy for me to lose sight of heaven when I’m uncomfortable and scared.
Thank you God for never losing sight of us.
I learned more in 2017 than probably any year prior. Moving to Germany the first week of the New Year provided enough symbolism to make my heart burst.
Not only were we growing accustomed to a new
culture, language, home… everything — the Lord was teaching us new things through it all — and consistently challenging the state of our hearts:
Would you rather live a life of comfort and remain immature in Christ — or are you willing to be seasoned with trials in order to closer reach the image of Christ?
This is the question that has lingered at the forefront of my mind & heart this year. Not just because we moved far from “home” — but also in the context of our marriage, my unemployment, our finances, the unexpected, our house being broken into, simple every day life…
Am I choosing to think and act in a way that brings me comfort here and now? or for eternity?
Lord, help me to desire the latter.
As I continue to reflect on 2017, I’m overwhelmed by the goodness we experienced. Goodness far greater than I ever could have imagined that day I was swimming in tears that were born from fear.
Even in the hard, growing moments — the Lord’s goodness prevailed.
He met all of our needs — and even many of our wants. Providing the means for us to travel to 12 countries, spend time back in the states with family, spend Christmas here with family, and so much more.
If our next 2 years here in Germany are anything like the 1st — I just might be kicking and screaming even harder when we have to move back 😉 .
Thankfully, the Lord is already preparing our hearts and minds for what He has next — He’s the only one that can. We may not know exactly what 2018 holds — but I’m praying we will choose to reflect & remember the lessons learned in 2017 — and use them to closer reach the image of Christ.
For there’s no greater New Year’s resolution than that.
Check out our video highlighting the move from our 1st home in St. Louis, MO to our 2nd in Homburg, Germany:
5 thoughts on “2017: Our 1st Year Living Abroad”
Love your writing. Dad