Come Tuesday, I will have officially lived in Germany for one month.
Wait . . . what?
This is strange to me for two different reasons. The first is that I feel like I literally just got here. I so vividly remember stepping off of the plane and seeing Luzian race out of the house waving hello when the car pulled up and eating my first meal here. It doesn't feel like a full month has gone by, like I've existed in this space for longer than even a week. But today I turned the page of my Beatles calender and admired how perfectly ordered February is (four full weeks, beginning on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday. I find this more satisfying than I probably should).
The second reason is mostly what I'm writing about today, and that is that there is no way that I could have been here for only a month because I've done at least six months worth of healing and growing and learning in this time. Did my ability to figure things out just miraculously speed up when I crossed the border into the EU? Surely there's an explanation.
I sat in a Starbucks with my mentor, Rebekah, the day I had accepted the job here. She's been doing life with me for almost seven years now and so I wanted her to be one of the first to know that I was leaving. She was the only one who didn't express deep sadness or concern when I dropped the bomb, mostly because she knows that this has been my heart for so long and she was over-the-moon stoked for me.
I described the job and the location to her - four days a week taking care of three adorable children in a tiny town made up of five thousand people which sat between the Alps and Lake Chiemsee. I remember her saying that of all the places in the world, a small town in Germany was not at all where she had pictured me. She envisioned me in a city or on a beach, somewhere big and loud and always moving.
"This is better though, I think. I know you're a people-person, and you love being around others, but this is a chance for it to just be you and Jesus, for you to focus on yourself and not have anything to distract you from that."
I knew right away that she was right and that this was why all of my other attempts to escape the Rockies had fallen through. This was my chance to escape with Yahweh, this was my opportunity to just be away with Him.
And up to this point, that's exactly what it's been. I'm playing guitar, I'm editing a novel I wrote long ago, I'm going running. I'm eating three times a day, I'm drinking more water, I'm getting a solid eight hours of sleep every night. But even more than that, I'm learning about myself, I'm shaking off all of the fears and emotional issues and problems that I once dealt with, and I'm growing. On my own time, at my own pace, I'm figuring myself out.
I had a Skype date with my best friend a few days ago, and I was able to say with the utmost certainty that I am more myself now than I ever have been before.
I can't even begin to write down all of the stories and all of the dreams and all of the me-and-Papa dialogues that I've had that have taught me things about myself and about Him and about the world around me. At one point I became concerned that I should be even better off than I am, that maybe I should be happier or less lonely, even though I'm in a very good place in both of those areas. He responded with a phrase that I have dearly taken to heart.
Do not concern yourself with ever needing to be better, Beloved. You are exactly where you are supposed to be exactly when you are supposed to be there.
I'm resting in that now, that there's no pressure on me to be better, that I don't need to worry about pushing myself even farther forward. I am good. Here, now, where I am, it is well with my soul.
I live in a country where no one speaks my language. I don't technically have any friends here, save the family I'm staying with and a few people they know. It's not always easy to communicate with those I know back home because of the eight-hour time difference. But I don't really care. None of that really matters now.
I am where I am supposed to be and that is good enough.
I hope your 2015 has been at least half as great as mine has and I hope that it gets even better.
Here's to even more growth.