Gosh. Moving abroad is not for the faint-hearted.
It’s been 20 days since I moved to Germany from the U.K. A busy, full 20 days. It actually surprises me that it has only been 20 days because so much has happened in such a short space of time.
I have settled into an apartment, begun language school, found a church to call home, found employment teaching English to children, and met some lovely people. God has most definitely gone ahead of me, opened up incredible opportunities for me, and worked miracles into daily living.
But, being a solid To-Do-list person, I’m now facing the future with many of the big items checked off the list. So, what now? To live life.
Yet it’s the ‘living life’ bit that I’m beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed by. You see, you can’t check it off a to-do list. It’s difficult to measure any progress, you simply be. Day on day, week on week. And any progress takes time.
Now I face the challenge of transitioning friendly faces into meaningful friendships, vacation-worthy German into everyday language, and sign-posted pit-stops into a familiar home town.
I face introducing the real me – my passions, my gifts, my humour, my observations and considerations – and not just the glassy-eyed mute that smiles awkwardly when utterly lost in German conversation.
My introverted being finds it hard enough to introduce myself to new people and face big crowds without adding a foreign language into the mix. It is both exciting and exhausting integrating into new spheres of life: home, work, church, school.
Tiredness has set in. Frustration has set in. Impatience has set in.
I am unspeakably grateful for the handful of people I already knew here and for their assistance in helping me settle – they have truly been a God-send! But I am determined not to become dependent on them.
Yet I’m not here alone. I’m not lost, I do not lack provision, I do not lack courage, support, guidance, love, wisdom, peace. Because God is here. He led me here. In the last 20 days I have witnessed miracles in the mundane; received unimaginable provision; recognised clear direction, and received many answers to specific prayers. ‘Coincidences’ that are no coincidence.
God was present in the transition from the U.K. to Germany and remains present in this new season of settling-in. He is all I need. I sometimes have to remind myself of this but there is no doubt in my mind that He truly is all I need. Because when God is present, friends will come, language will come, patience will come, church-family will come, opportunities to serve will come, provision will come, peace will come.
I look forward to the day when I can reflect back on these first weeks, months and be able to identify progress; to recognise growth and thank the One who meticulously orchestrated it.