Earth Day has me thinking about the fact that very soon I will be living in a different part of the world very soon. It's also got me thinking about how crazy that is to say out loud!! For those who go waaaay back with me know that this is not the first time I have lived in a country outside of the United States. When I was 15, I lived in Brasil, South America with my family for about a year. Living in a third world country is an adventure to say the least. We not only dealt with the language barrier (Portuguese versus English) we faced cultural challenges as well. All in all it was an excellent experience and has played a large role in shaping me to be the person I am today, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't tough. I have infinite stories, some of which are comical and positive and some of which are heartbreaking but when it comes down to it, as hard and as challenging as it was, I would do it all over again because it taught me to have a true appreciation for America and for my life and all the luxuries in it.
Switzerland is obviously not a third world country and the experience will be much different than that of my Brazil experience no doubt for reasons beyond the difference in age I was then to now, economic status and just culturally as a whole. There will still be challenges and a language barrier just as there was living in Brazil but I'm approaching this as a great adventure for us not as a scary unknown journey. Our attitude when we approach change and new experiences makes a huge difference in what we will get out of that experience.
When I first was told about the possibility of moving to Switzerland, I will admit, I was scared to death. Sure, to you it may sound wonderful and exciting, but with my past experience of living overseas and knowing that this isn't simply an extended vacation, we are actually going to be LIVING there, my initial reaction was fear. And I really had to work it out. We had other opportunities to live right here in the United States for Jared's internship experience...in beautiful parts of the country too and it would have been much simpler and much less terrifying to give into my fears and go where I would be comfortable...which would have meant choosing to stay here in the United States where I knew I had the safety net of my family being close, no fear of communication barriers, etc. But as I thought and prayed about it, I felt like God was saying "It's ok to be afraid, but don't let your fear stop you from living out your purpose". It was as though God was saying "Don't you trust me to take care of you no matter where on Earth you are?" And that's when I realized that Switzerland was where God was calling us to go. Funny how the right thing to do can also be the scariest choice to make.
So when I told Jared I felt like God wanted use to go to Switzerland he said he felt the same but was glad to hear I came to that conclusion on my own because he didn't want to take me somewhere I didn't want to go and would be miserable. I love that about my husband, he leaves enough space to allow me to grow with God in my own life but yet is still right there to love and support me and grow together too.
We told both of our families our decision to move to Switzerland and were overwhelmed by their support! It was more confirmation that we needed in order to know we were making the right decision. Our family's support means the world to us, almost as much as God's support. So as the weeks go by, the more my fear subsides and the more I feel a peace about our future because I know that we're not alone, no matter where God takes us, He is there every step of the way. And for that, I am thankful.
I'm certain fear will find a way to creep back into my head perhaps more than once during the moments leading up to the move and even during our time there but my hope is that I can always bring my mind back to this: "If we can trust God with our eternity we can trust Him with our now".