This weekend, we’ll be packing bags, praying away sickness, and preparing to move to the other side of the world. We’ve been in America almost an entire year, and it’s been an amazing time of reconnecting with family, friends, and churches we love. But France is calling, and it’s time to venture back out into the great unknown of expat life.
Back to a life with no dishwashers, no dryers, and no Walmart.
Back to lost-in-translation moments, conversations made entirely of hand gestures, and fixing your shower head with a spoon because attempting communication with your landlord would be more exhausting somehow (true story).
Back to figuring out every little thing as if it’s the first time you’ve done it: navigating foreign health care, buying cell phone minutes at the post office, and remembering whether or not it’s your job to weigh the fruit at the grocery store.
Back to a life spent leaning on the kindness of others.
Back to appreciating the simple things and celebrating the small victories.
Back to small portions, tiny coffees, and real croissants.
Back to recognizing my weaknesses: how language-learning has never come easy to me, how I’m never as mentally tough as I think I am, and how quickly I retreat to my expat bubble when the going gets tough.
Back to a life that forces me to give up control and trust in the goodness of God.
Back to the kind of hard that binds people together, that has made my marriage strong.
Back to a life I pray my son will love as much as I do.
Back to being brave together.
Even though we’ve done this before, it doesn’t really get easier. Hopefully we’re smarter this time or better-packed or less starry-eyed about what lies ahead, but the real work is just beginning. And it’s here, in the earliest stages, where our French is still atrocious and our address has yet to be determined, that I ask you to pray for us.
Pray that we go out with the radiant face of God shining upon us. Pray that we have traveling mercies, a forgiving stint of jet lag, and the fortitude to embrace this new life. Pray that we will see, even now, how this will all be worth it. How we will tell these stories for the rest of our lives.
Thank you, dear readers. After we get settled, I’m sure I’ll have some stories for you.
Photo: Moyan Brenn, Creative Commons