Helping Expats Relocate
Other than tear your hair out!
Waiting is never easy. Waiting to know where you are moving, which country or which town, can put a strain on family relationships. My parents thought they were heading to China as missionaries and teachers at one of the large universities, that is until they were told that Sourth Korea had openings "more suitable to requirments." In the end, they loved their years in South Korea. It was just the changing gears and language training that proved to be a challenge.
Thinking you are going home? And not sure? Military posting? Mission field move? New job?
Waiting to make friends in your new location? Waiting for your shipment to arrive?
There's a lot of waiting, when it comes to moving. Years of moving overseas as well as in-country moves, thaught me my motto "Blessed are the flexible!"
Here are three things you can do to make the most of waiting:
1. Recognise that God could move you in a heartbeat, if He wanted to. I remember a time when I just stopped looking out for the message that we had a moving date. I said, aloud to many, "I'll believe we are going when I see the whites of the airline tickets!"
2. Check your grumbling. This is a very good time to re-read the story of how the Isrealites turned an eleven day trip into forty years due to their grumbling on the road. "Yeah," you might be thinking, "at least they were on the road!" This is a time to reward yourself and/or your children whenever you finding joy in your day- right where you are. The biggest challenge is not being able to plan, so look to plan for where you are at the moment; until you know otherwise.
3. Develop a Transition Support Team. This is your own, personal support team for flourishing and not just surviving! Top of this list is someone in whom you can confide. This person needs to be outside your local circle of friends and has nothing to do with where you are working or serving. You need someone with whom you can share feelings and thrash out plans at a time when no plan feels actionable or possible. Rarely is this a family member, as you need to remember the impact waiting has on them. Your children especially, need you to have your own confidant, and not share what only adults need to share. As a parent, you need to strategise how to be your children's support, and once you develop a best "Waiting Practice" you can teach your family.
If you would like to chat with a Relocation Mentor, check out the Useful Stuff page on this website and book an appointment. I'd love to hear from you!
Kathleen at Parents on the Move!