Friday, January 27, 2012

Life is like the Seasons

Life is full of constant change, isn't it? We may find ourselves in a comfortable moment or place but it doesn't last. Nor can it be recreated.

Being "experienced" at relocation, I can confirm that re-entry to a place you had previously lived can be as difficult or more so than an entirely new environment. Things seem familiar but they are definitely different. I often find myself starting to say "S-- R------" as the city I live in rather than "D---------" which is proper place. In taking a friend to the Oakland Airport, I went a 'different' way as my brain stepped back 12 years ago and thought I was heading to a clients place of business. Hello? Brain, are you working in there?

We live close to our old CA residence but just far enough and having been away long enough that much has changed. We are currently changing a few other things which will be revealed as the weeks go by. As we've been going through the mental exercises for these decisions (none of which are earth-shattering, just fine-tuning), I was reminded of the challenges we faced when we left for Switzerland over 5 years ago. And how God just took care of everything even when I didn't feel in control.

Most of those challenges are recorded in the early part of this Blog. The sorting, labeling, packing and disposing of things when you are leaving your home country for an unknown period of time AND selling one's residence is no light matter. Much of it done with the husband out of town and/or out of the country. I had wonderful help through friends at church - if you're reading this now, Thank You again!!!

We had to leave our beloved dog Max who passed away shortly thereafter and thus created challenges in decisions and feelings while we dealt with it from overseas. I was just telling my Mom how hard it was for me. I couldn't pack the suitcases until he was with J & S (new family) because he was already on my heels with the house in a crazy state and if I pulled out the suitcases, he would understand how big the change was = suitcases equaled his people leaving. I didn't go with Bart & the girls to give him a last goodbye either - couldn't do it.

Then there was the matter of Rachel which was not on the Blog. She was sick (antibiotics issue) and had lost considerable weight (for her size) before we left. We were still waiting for test results right before the movers came on Monday and had a "standby" appointment with a Pediatric Gastro....something specialist on that Tuesday and we were supposed to hand over our keys that Thursday and head off for California. Fortunately, we didn't need to see the Specialist as we got a diagnosis and a plan (still took 2 months for her to finish recovery). I've never written about the pharmacy mess-up that occurred as we tried to leave Urbandale headed for CA (visited family before heading to Switzerland) but let's put it this way: I cried in front of the pharmacist, I spoke harshly, they had messed up, I convinced them that "I will pay for the medicine in full" which I told them I would the previous day! as it was a compounded liquid (has to be prepared as it's not already in form and this is usually done overnight) AND I did this all in front of my dad who had flown out to help me with the girls and the drive. He was calm and quiet the whole time and let me drive and just work it all out. I was a challenge. Thank you Dad!

Then we arrived in Switzerland. This brought on another host of challenges and learning as a family to operate and exist in a new country. We were significantly blessed by it all.

When I look at all those old challenges, I see how God brought us through. How much I've learned and grown as a wife, mother and individual. I can apply the experience and lessons learned to new challenges. As overwhelmed as I've felt this Fall/Winter with some things, when put next to challenges in the past, they're quite small. They just feel big in this time that I'm in - the "right now." The Lord is reminding me, again!, that He's bigger than all of it.

I'm rejoicing in the discipline of the last couple of weeks. Obviously not disciplined on the computer but in other areas of life. I'm finding my routine. Taking care of things that matter and not leaving so much for later. My to-do list is still very, very long but reassessing priorities, especially priorities that matter to other people, has brought some great balance to life.

It is good.


Katherine said...

Oh, Susan. If I ever move back to the US, you will be a great person on whose cyber-shoulder to cry. I know it must be so hard. God strengthen and bless you as you plod through these intial stages of getting used to it all. I just cling to God's promise He is with us wherever we are, sustaining us with His power and love. May you feel this today and may His love make you smile. It's snowing here today (we've hardly had any snow here this winter) - I'll enjoy it for you extra. Love, Katherine

Sarah said...

Let it be known, I still miss your presence in Iowa and in Bible study groups. Hugs to you!