So hard to believe.
A year ago yesterday we said goodbye to Indiana and all things close and familiar and stepped on a plane. We had 7 suitcases of various shapes and sizes filled with books, clothes, and a precious few other things we couldn’t bear to leave behind. We had pictures in our minds of the place we were headed, expectations, assumptions, and excitement for what might await us there.
A year ago today we officially stepped foot onto Scotland’s dear earth and somehow managed to make it to our flat (mostly because the Lord blessed us with Grant, our taxi driver, who saved me many, many tears that surely would have come had we tried public transportation with 7 bags and no sleep). We learned on the drive that the Scottish accent would take some getting used to, more than once having no idea what our driver was talking about. We officially met our downstairs neighbors as we accidentally attempted a break-in thinking we lived on the first floor. And, came to find out that we did actually live on the first floor, but we lived in Scotland now, so that meant we lived on the second floor.
We wandered around trying to figure out how to navigate the three little streets, how to remember which store was crammed into which aged avenue. We found Scots to be incredibly helpful as we were constantly wearing looks of utter confusion. We marveled at the ocean and the size of the supermarket (tiny) and the seagulls (gargantuan). We ate a meager dinner of some random frozen, flavored chicken, broccoli, and microwave mashed potatoes and lamented at how nothing tasted quite right.
And then we headed for bed. We thanked the Lord for bringing us safely to our new home, and we prayed that He would bless our life in this unfamiliar and different place. And I cried. I fell asleep crying in fact. I cried for the fatigue. For the weight of what we had just done. For the realization that nothing is as easy as I thought when shrouded by the darkness of night. For the empty place in my heart that was searching already to find significance and meaning in this new setting.
This year was so far from what I expected. And it was so much better than I expected. It seemed nothing happened as I wanted it to, but everything happened as it needed to. The Lord brought us joy in Him, in one another, in newfound friends, in breathtaking scenery and unexpected experiences. He blessed me with a patient and forbearing husband as I meandered in and out of contentment. He brought us through the loss of 4 family members and 2 pets. He continues to show us grace when we are given long and difficult days.
This has been the most difficult year we have ever faced together, the most spectacular highs and the most defeating lows we have ever known. And we have both agreed on numerous occasions that it has been the best year yet.
Praise the Lord for His abundant mercy, His saving grace, His unfathomable love.