There are a few stages one goes through when preparing for a major life change, such as moving overseas to a country one has never even visited.
Stage 1 (about 9 months out): "Yes, let's do this. What a great idea! This is going to be AWESOME!"
Stage 2 (5 months out): "I should probably email the people who know stuff and find out what I need to know."
Stage 3 (about 3 months out, and only in an election year, and only if the candidates are awful): "I think we should figure out how to vote from overseas. Or not. Because it's not like I know who to vote for anyway."
Stage 4 (1 month out): "This was a horrible idea. Really. Four months without bacon? I'll never be able to learn Arabic. And the next person who asks me if I am excited is going to get an elbow in the ribs. Or just have to stand there awkwardly while I break down in the ugly cry."
Stage 5 (2 weeks out): "Okay, I can do this."
Why the sudden change between the final 2 stages? Because we met the people we will get to be around. They were so kind, so encouraging. They told us about all the good stuff, and how to pronounce the soft h sound without spitting, and where we could possibly find bacon. I wanted to cling to these people like a baby orangutan.
But now we are back home from that wonderful week at our conference and each morning when I wake up I feel the anxiety creeping back in. At the time of this writing we have 7 days until departure. Everyday something happens that tempts me to have a small breakdown, but I keep trying to remember these are opportunities to take a deep breath and trust God. He keeps letting me practice this one. Like really, every single day. I'm not enjoying it, but I will trust Him.
And then right when I need it I get an email from a friend with some tips on things we must do. It's all stuff like "learn to make Turkish coffee" and "snorkeling in the Red Sea." And it ends with "felucca ride downtown, preferably to a party where S dances."
Wait...our office director dances?
And then I am right back to, "This is going to be AWESOME!"
From the Keiters:
Here is where we share our daily experiences of how God is using our life in the US and abroad with eMi to draw us closer and to make Himself known.