For the past month the cry of my heart has been to be able to stay in Germany for another couple of years. So many times a day I cry out in prayer to God with just the thoughts that my heart is broken at the thought of moving away right now. That I just want to stay. Nothing lyrical or profound. No extra words or explanations. Just the deep desire that I don’t want to move away from my adopted home of Germany, my tiny little rural farming German village.
We might be moving back to the US in October. There is a pretty strong possibility. And it makes me cry to think about that.
I want to stay. I don’t want to move.
I looked back this morning when I was thinking to our three years here in Germany. We have felt like such foreigners and outsiders for so long. The first year we lived here LOML and I frequently had conversations about how hard it is, and we questioned if it was worth it to move here. We felt like we hit wall after wall after wall (social, community building, church, friends, language, government protocols, etc). At some point we either became better at climbing the big walls in front of us at every corner or the walls became smaller and smaller.
We are still foreigners and outsiders — something I doubt will ever change even if we lived here the rest of our lives. But now I can say we do actually fit in.
-It was comfortable to be with my German band at our concert on Sunday. We had conversations in German. There were 2 strangers that asked me questions — and I could answer them appropriately! They missed me when I was gone this summer. They care about me and the new baby.
-Our kids feel comfortable in this culture. (They are a little awkward back in the US, actually.) They effortlessly flip from English to German depending on who they are speaking to — and they instinctively know which one is correct.
-The other parents in the Kindergarten are willing to be our friends and show us great kindnesses. I shared with a mother a week ago that I was having pain because of this pregnancy and that’s why I was walking so slowly to pick up the girls in the afternoon. She gave the 3 of us a ride home. And when she saw me walk up to school, as she was driving away, the next morning for drop-off, she called school and told the teacher to let me know she would pick me up at my house so I wouldn’t have to walk for that afternoon’s pickup.
-All summer long Big Ive would get teary-eyed and cry that she wanted to go back home to Germany. At least once a day, nearly every day of the 2 months we spent in the US. This is home to them. They know nothing different than living in Germany, long airplane rides to see grandparents. [[I understand they would most likely feel this way about where ever we might live as long as it was home.]]
-The girls have friends at school. Friends who missed them when we were gone for such a long time in the US this summer. The first day back at school a group of kids stood at the window yelling out, “Die Big Ive und die Little E! Die Big Ive und die Little E! (The Big Ive and the Little E!)” They were so excited the girls were back at school. I wish I could convey the excitement of those children through these simple words. It just made my heart glow.
-People know who we are in the village. I can’t walk to school, the little store, the butcher shop, the playground without waving or saying hello to someone I know.
-Our children have adopted grandparents here in our village. The girls LOVE these people and they love our kids just as much.
-We have friends and have begun to grow a community.
It was a difficult and stressful summer dealing with the many changes in our lives (much beyond just moving back to the States). It was so full of many different emotions. I know that being pregnant during all of this has definitely intensified any reaction I would normally have. I didn’t fully realize how much I like living here and want to live here until we were getting ready to move.
Until we hear otherwise we are planning to move. Constant prayer, fingers crossed (or thumbs pressed, as the Germans say) we hear otherwise. And sooner would be better than later. But I’ll take whatever I can get if it means we can stay.
I trust God. I trust His will and timing. He’ll provide for us where we will be moving. But, damn, is this a hard time for us.
I want to stay. I don’t want to move. Yet. I’m not ready.
Will I ever be ready?