Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thoughts on Transition

Someone asked me the other day to give six words that describe our transition from BFA back to the States. This was a good challenge for me because it helped me to take time to reflect. After pondering for awhile this is what came to mind:

Anticipation – Tim and I both knew without a doubt that moving to a new ministry with ACSI was God’s plan for us. He continued to confirm this leading up to our departure from BFA and then after we arrived here. When you know that God is in it, that is something to get excited about! And so we even though our hearts were torn in leaving Germany, we were eager to begin a new adventure back in the U.S. Tim was looking forward to his new role with ACSI, and it has proven to be a great fit for him. This anticipation continues after being here for six months as we look forward to His plans for us in the coming months.

Gratitude – We are very grateful for friends who welcomed us with open arms the minute we arrived in Colorado Springs. They had a huge impact in helping to make our transition easier. They continue to care about us and we love spending time with them. We are also thankful for colleagues from Tim’s workplace and other people who have been so kind in welcoming us, helping us unload our container when it arrived, and checking up on us to make sure we’re doing okay.

Flowers welcoming us to our new home

Some of the helpers who unloaded our container

Pain – I had major kidney surgery shortly before we said good-bye to Germany. My recovery took much longer than anticipated, complicated by infections, etc.. This made my transition very discouraging at times because I was not feeling well and was therefore unable to participate in activities that I really wanted to. I had to learn to slow down and rest and give myself time – this was difficult in the midst of trying to say proper good-byes to people and places in Europe and
trying to set up our home here. Tim also had very unexpected emergency surgery less than two months before we left Germany. I am glad we weren't in the hospital at the same time!

Wonder – We miss the beauty of Germany, especially the lush green everywhere. However, we are continually amazed by God’s creation that surrounds us in Colorado. It’s astounding really! We enjoy hiking on weekends, and it seems that every new trail we venture out on offers something new and diverse. We find ourselves saying “Wow!” a lot! How amazing it is to see the Front Range and Pikes
Peak every time we leave our house.

Sadness – We love living here! But from time to time we are “hit” with pangs of homesickness for Germany. Usually this is triggered by viewing photos from BFA that we see on facebook or else an event that is happening over there that we are painfully aware we are missing out on. The Christmas markets, for example. We rarely purchased anything from them, but the ambiance they create is truly delightful. We miss celebrating New Years Eve in Kandern. The whole town comes alive at midnight and our family enjoyed being a part of that, shooting off our own fireworks/bottle rockets/ sparklers, etc.. And we greatly miss the constant interaction that we had with the students who make Black Forest Academy the most amazing school on the planet!

Christmas in Strasbourg and Basel

Fireworks in Kandern on New Years Eve

Some of our favorite destinations in Europe - Adelboden, Rothenburg, Cinque Terre.

Overwhelmed – We have felt this repeatedly, first at BFA leading up to our departure. We were overwhelmed by BFA’s kindness to us in honoring our years of service there. We were overwhelmed by sadness in saying good-bye to people and places we loved. I was very much out of my element trying to navigate Colorado Springs when we first moved here! I found the streets and roads very confusing. Tim and I continue to be amazed and humbled - overwhelmed by God’s grace that He has literally showered on us time and time again since moving here. We are blessed beyond measure!
My small group helped with hosting at our BFA farewell.

View of the Swiss Alps the morning we flew to the States


Jesse and Doris Frank said...

Thanks for sharing this, Sandee! Wow!

Shawna said...

This is great, Sandee. Beneficial for all who take time to read it, and a challenge to reflect back on God's faithfulness in OUR life. Thanks.

Anna Dunn said...

I know I'm caching up on some older posts you've published, but this made me long for you so much Sandee. I pray for you every time I think on Germany and the time we spent together there.