Helping Expats Relocate
So, you've been in your new location for several months. In April you start to see a new type of beauty in the land surrounding you. If you are in that "Nine Month Stage," you might be wondering why you just don't feel settled- even if Spring is here!
May I let you in on something? This is perfectly normal! For years I could almost predict when someone felt a little emotional, perhaps sad, and certainly not satisfied with development of the work they came to do. I started asking anyone expressing those feelings, "Have you been here for none months?"
"Yes! How did you know?" is often the answer.
I know because I been through this "Nine Month Blues," in three countries now.
So what can you do?
There are three things you can do to not just get through this time, but thrive:
1. Be very, very nice to yourself. As you recognise that this is a time of transition to a deeper level in your new culture (vacation/holiday over), take time out to think about what nurtures your soul. One "Parent on the Move!" dad just took time out to build a swing with his daughters and gave himself the gift of time spent playing. Often, when we want to get stuck into new work and prove ourselves in a new environment, we don't give ourselves permission to take time to play or just rest (or have nails done-how indulgent!).
2. While your soul often wants your emotions to lead all you do right now, take time to strengthen your spirit. Deep in your spirit you know it is your guiding faith that is to tame those emotions, not your emotions tame you! I love the iBloom group teaching on having a Business Meeting with God. This business meeting may have a different daily agenda, but the focus in always on Jesus. The Holy Spirit is to be in charge of our soul.
3. Write out your Rhythm of the Week. This month I will be working on "Waiting Wednesdays," looking at what we are waiting for God to do in our lives and in the lives of those we are called to serve. We can struggle at nine months, or two years into an overseas assignment, when we want to push our agenda. Waiting on the Lord in a new location acknowledges our powerlessness to change the world-but we know who can.