As I mentioned yesterday, most of what I wrote in the “Leaving home to go home” series was written over a month ago. I’ve healed quite a bit since I wrote this and it’s taken me a few weeks to be willing to dig back into these thoughts. I am itching to be whole again and part of me knows that sharing these thoughts with you is part of my own healing. Even if sharing them is mostly for myself, I gain a tremendous amount of satisfaction by sharing my tough times so that others can see that they’re not alone, and also because it gives others a chance to let me know that I’m not alone.
And so, let the posts begin…
This post is hard to start. I know I’ve mentioned the blues I’ve been struggling with and the counseling I’m going to, but going into the details is no fun. It’s necessary to process them, but still, no fun.
If you want to read my story, you are welcome to. We in the military expect the challenges of this life because we’ve dealt with them before, but each time we move we experience a different set of emotions. For me, this move was the hardest. I expected it to be hard, but just how hard it has been took me entirely by surprise. And when I first shared my thoughts here on this blog others shared some of their heart aches as well. They let me know I’m not crazy for feeling this way and for having a really difficult time processing this grief.
The messages, emails, and snail-mail letters that have come since I shared that I was struggling have been over-the-top encouraging. Some included heartbreaking stories of my friends’ struggles, but all those difficult stories were topped with an abundance of grace and encouragement. Those of you who have written to me have provided a salve to my spirit that, had I not been transparent here, I wouldn’t have received. Thank You for taking the time to write to me… to tell me that you’ve felt this way too, that I’m not alone, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for being transparent with me and letting me see into your hard places so I can see that having a hard place isn’t abnormal.
If you’re interested in reading the nitty-gritty details of my story, they are below. I will admit this series isn’t my favorite one, and I’ve been putting off sharing it for quite some time. I recently listened to a sermon on podcast that encouraged me to share… it was about having confidence in what God has given me. He has given me a voice (anyone with internet now has a voice and can write a blog). He has given me a story. He has given me a desire to help others. In my current life stage, the easiest way for me to help others is by using my story and my voice to share transparently. So, here goes:
I lived a fairy-tale life in Germany for three years. My life was next-to-perfect.
- We arrived the day before Thanksgiving, 2009, my favorite time off the year;
- We had a baby just a few months later;
- Matt didn’t deploy while we were there, which was a pleasant surprise. We had expected him to;
- I lived in a huge, one-level, 5BR house with plenty of space for my family and for me to host as often as I liked;
- I met and made friends with hundreds of amazing people, and became close with a handful, and become family to a few… and my husband loved their husbands, which, as any wife knows, is pretty helpful and awesome!
- I traveled to lots of really cool places, collecting mugs from all over the world;
- ChapelNext Wiesbaden was a great home church and we loved serving there;
- Our boys thrived in the neighborhood we lived in, playing outside for hours every day;
- Our stairwell neighbors were fantastic, and I think of them all the time;
- The weather was perfect for us… we love cold weather, and kept our windows open year ’round. (Just ask my cold-natured friends… they knew where I kept the coats and blankets!)
- The towns/countries nearby with living history were a treasure trove for me, as I love history and the stories found within, but also for me as a homeschooling mom;
- Our homeschool group was active and friendly;
- Our city of Wiesbaden was absolutely beautiful with gorgeous cobblestone paths, photogenic at every turn, and walking around downtown never got old;
- Christmas Markets… enough said;
These are just a few of the things that I can spout off the top of my head that made my time in Germany so great. Yet, in many ways, I was ready to move back to the US. There were complications to living overseas that I was not going to miss, namely being such a long, expensive flight away from family. Talking to my dear friends who are still there, they remind me occasionally of the annoyances of living there:
- Items ordered online takes weeks or months to arrive, if they arrive;
- Finding a simple pair of shoes for the toddler is a chore in-and-of-itself and will cost either $35 at the PX or 24€ at the Schuh Centre. (I just bought Parker an adorable pair at Wal-Mart for $11.)
- No Chick-fil-a;
- One can only get “cheap” gas on post or at this one brand of gas station – Esso, by the way – and by “cheap” I mean the average of US gas prices, which is more expensive than any gas I’ve ever had to by in my life;
I’m sure there are more negatives but I’m having to rack my brain to come up with them.
Our hearts begin to diminish the bad parts and emphasize the good parts when grieving. I know this logically, but my heart doesn’t really care.
**Just a reminder**
I began this post in September. I have been itching to share it, but honestly, not sure anyone would want to read it. When I told Matt of my concerns he reminded me once again of my purpose in writing this blog: it is first-and-foremost, our journal. If others enjoy reading it or learn from it, that’s great. But if this isn’t for anyone else in the world, if it’s only for me, then I need to write it. When I finally wrote it all out it was over 5,000 words, so I had to break it up. Part 2 will come tomorrow.
Other posts in this series: