Friday, November 18, 2016

We've made it through! Looking back a year....

Expat life is a roller coaster with loads of ups and downs, and coming from someone who has grown over the years less enthused with the idea of plummeting to my death, or getting stuck upside down on a rollercoaster, I do enjoy the rollercoaster of expat life (mostly).

Facebook reminded me today that one year ago we were house hunting in Belgium, literally days after the Paris attacks. Security was increased, we weren't sure we'd be able to cross the border from the Netherlands into Belgium, or if the company was even going to continue with our move at that moment. There was so much uncertainty about the world, about my little family, and about my feelings on moving, again.

Thinking back to one year ago, gets me very emotional. I was literally a wreck. Leaving one of the best communities we have EVER been a part of was hard to imagine and even harder when it became a reality. I didn't want to leave. I was grasping at straws, digging my feet in like a stubborn mule. I cried at night, and put on a brave face for the kids during the day. It was all going to be ok, and we were going to come out on the other side of this dark cloud eventually. I kept telling myself that until it I believed it, and it continued for 3 months after the move. Add into that the dismal weather, 7 hours of daylight, and kids who were clearly distraught, and you may have some clue as to my state of mind. I had the ability to deal with it and get along deep down inside, but while the kids were unhappy and adjusting, I was unhappy. Not even the lure of a new adventure was picking up my spirits. This was one ride, I was not happy to get on.
Grote Markt Antwerp

Fast forward a year, well 9 months since the fog of moving lifted, and we're well through to the other side. I was right. There is always a rainbow after the storm, even if you don't see it. In this case, I saw  it, right when I needed it most. The storm ended. The ride came to a stop, and although I had my eyes closed and screamed the whole way through. The ride stopped and I survived. 
 This photo below was taken from our hotel in Antwerp on our house hunting trip when I was,  to put it nicely, not quite on board with moving to Belgium. The sign of God's promise to His people that everything was going to be OK, was MY sign as well. I often think about this picture, this moment, and remember that no matter what seems so difficult, inconvenient, or heart wrenching, it will all be OK. It won't be the same, but it will be OK.

When the sun came out and the puddles dried up....  Wait, that doesn't happen in Belgium, so I am figuratively speaking here; I have new friends, my kids have new friends, I'm back at my hobby of acting with a new theater group, my international Herbalife business is thriving. We've built a support system that works for us. We have others that have been a blessing to us, and I can only hope we have been able to return the favor. 

We still have plenty of time here in Belgium to learn to love it more and more, and by the end, I'm sure my sentiments will be nearly the same. I won't want to go, change will be hard and uncertain, but eventually, it will all be OK.

Until Next Time, 

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