Monday, March 2, 2009

Everything I need to know I learned….

Here. Living in a country that is not my own. Except after six years it feels like it’s my own. Kind of. And maybe everything I need to know I haven’t learned here but I have learned lots of important stuff. Stuff I’m not sure I would have learned had I not been yanked out of my very comfortable comfort zone into unfamiliar territory.

I think about the lessons I want to take away from this experience. I want these lessons to stick. I think about how funny life is, about how I thought my life here would be one way and it’s been completely another. I think about how I was going merrily along thru life and how else could God teach me some very important things I needed to learn without moving me out of the familiar and into the unfamiliar.

We were living in a lovely comfy community in Maryland before we moved to England. I had a nice home, great neighbors, lots of friends, a church we were happy and involved in, and a job I truly loved. You could say the same was all true for my husband and children too and we could have quite happily remained there on a permanent basis. Then one day my husband came home and asked how I’d feel about moving to England. Just like that. 22 days after he was offered the job we found ourselves on an airplane bound for the UK. I’d resigned from my job, we’d sold our house, car, and boat, completed the school enrolment process for our children and to be honest were feeling just a tad bit shell shocked. And maybe a little bit nuts. Our children would not disagree.

They say hindsight is 20/20 and as we prepare to repatriate this year I can now look back and see that of course God had, and still does have, a plan for my life and that living in England was a huge part of that plan. I can see that His ways are not mine (thankfully!) and He can (and most assuredly does!) do abundantly more than all I can ask or even imagine.

Living here I've learned that God can take something I might think of as a negative and turn it on it’s head so it becomes a great big enormous blessing in my life. I’ve learned that heaven is going to be ‘international’. I've learned not to cling too tightly to 'stuff'. I've learned that He will walk me through my fears and that I can do things I never thought I could because God is everywhere and always. I suppose I did know these things to be true in my head but they were never really tested until I moved here. The past 6 years have been a crazy, scary, exciting, adventure and I honestly cannot imagine my life without this experience. It makes up a huge part of who I am today. Isn’t it just like God to know exactly what we need when we need it even when we don’t think we do? Or maybe I should say, especially when we don’t think we do.

Cheers, Joyce


  1. Joyce, thank you for stopping by my site but especially thank you for leaving a comment. It's always fun to make new blogging friends.

    What a beautiful post you did today. I enjoyed it so much. Thank goodness you and your husband listed to God's prompting and moved to the UK. You would have missed out on such an adventure had you not. Yes, God knows what we need and has the perfect timing in all doesn't he!?!

    Hope you have a wonderful week and I'll stop by later to visit. Take care!


  2. Hey Joyce, what a beautiful post!! I feel like you have made the most of your situation living in England and have blossomed as a result of your experiences there. You are so blessed to have had such wonderful adventures there. God definitely has the master plan for our lives and we have to trust in Him, when we don't understand where he is leading us. You will certainly have awesome memories to cherish for a lifetime and I'm sure you have made incredible friends too. The UK will remain a special place in your heart and will be like a second home to your family. I know you have mixed feelings about leaving, but it will be nice to get home to be near family and old friends. I'm like you, God continues to amaze me with all the blessings he has bestowed on me through the bad times. He is so good! Love & blessings from snowy NC!

  3. Joyce,
    You are speaking straight to my heart. God has put me on that same journey going from happiness in my comfort zone to a foreign place. I came very willingly, but with many questions and reservations all the while trusting that this was God's plan for our lives. I am only 9 months into the journey and the commitment is for 2 to 3 years. You and I both know how quickly the timing can change. My hubbs might come home one day and say they need him back home or extend it because of long term project. You never know.

    The hardest part of the journey for me initially was not feeling accepted as a homeschool mother & family. I had no idea what I was in for, but now I am comfortable doing what God has asked me to do. It's okay now if someone doesn't get why I would stay at home and educate 5 children. It's just not common here. That's part of how God is growing me.

    Though that was difficult, I am finding many blessings in being here. Our family does everything together and we get to see amazing places. We have found a church where the people are very kind to us. We have also started a small group and that is a real blessing.

    If there is anything I can do for you during your repatriation, please let me know. I will be in your shoes one day, too.

    Blessings to you my friend!

    P.S. Did I tell you that I am from New Jersey, too. I grew up in Hoboken.

  4. Hi Joyce! Well, my computer is operating perfectly again and I am able to "follow" new people once more! Yay! I don't think it was me, I think it was Blogger! Too many people were having too many problems.
    And yes, I do spend a lot of time gazing out the window, especially at night- it is a view of lights.
    I think you've been so Blessed to have such an awesome experience. All the wonderful people you've all met, and the places you've been and the things you've LEARNED! WOW! What wonderful, wonderful memories you now have.
    And now you'll come back to the States. Will you settle in the same town you were in before?
    Another good thing! The real estate prices are really, really low right now, and you'll probably have no problem finding a new home!
    HAGD! Karen

  5. Hi Joyce...just enjoying your blog and catching up with you. I especially like this post where you said God knows what we need and when...we are going through a transition and I am holding to that. I loved hearing your story and your obedience. What a neat journey! Connie