Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Emotional Whiplash, Anyone?

Well, folks, all the "big" events are over. (Though I think it's a little sad that, this year, Christmas doesn't qualify as a "big" event.) Papers turned in. Exams completed. Brother married.

So this week... this week is focused on my little family. Laundry is getting done. I'm on my THIRD load of dishes in TWO days ('cause that's what happens when I don't do dishes for two weeks). Three boxes are packed. One room has a vacuumed floor. Things are looking up, people.

Hubby is graduating on Thursday. I'm so proud of him and all his hard work. I'm glad he's finally able to see it all pay off.

While I really haven't had the opportunity to think about Korea much over the last few weeks (see this post to find out why), I now find that it is at the forefront of my thoughts.

I find myself simultaneously excited, nervous, and sick-to-my-stomach thinking about all of the changes that are about to happen to our little family.

I am excited about the new culture and the new city. I love the thought of waking up every morning and looking out my window at a completely foreign landscape. I love the idea of discovering the "everyday" things like the closest coffee shop, the most convenient grocery store, and the best place to take Chloe to play. I'm excited to move into a new apartment that is already furnished - a chance to start fresh and leave clutter behind.

I am REALLY excited about sharing this adventure with my husband. Brandon and I have both had our own mini adventures, but most of them were while we were still dating, and many of them were experienced separately. And I can remember, in every adventure (traveling drama team, freshmen year at college, backpacking across Europe...) the ONE THING that would have made each experience PERFECT would have been to share it with him. I can specifically remember watching a fountain/light show one evening in Rome and tearing up as I thought, "I love being here. But I miss Brandon so much it hurts." But this time... THIS time we get to do it TOGETHER. We get to taste the food, to see the sights, to learn the language, and to make new friends... together...as a family. That part is VERY exciting to me.

But some of the things that make me the most excited are the things that make me the most nervous: The weather, the language barrier, my first grocery shopping trip (how does one say "kraft macaroni and cheese" in Korean?), and the cultural differences. I have a rather morbid fear that I am going say or do something that is perfectly fine here in the states, but it completely offensive and rude there. Hehe... it sounds silly when I say it, but it's seriously something I think about. I also wonder about the food. I'm not concerned with going out to eat - I can always find something to eat at a restaurant. I'm more concerned about cooking (anyone have a good recipe for a whole squid?). And anyway, all of this may not matter in the long run because, quite frankly, I'm not sure we'll survive the 20-hour plane ride with a TWO YEAR OLD!

I realize that most of these "fears" will be squelched in our first month there. So far, our dealings with the church have been VERY positive. We are absolutely confident that they will take care of us and make sure we adapt well to our new surroundings. I KNOW that many of my worries are irrational and silly, and I DON'T give heed to them for any length of time. As a matter of fact, I'm usually able to rationalize my way out of thinking about them at all. I'm just sayin' they're there, ya know?

But then there are those very few things that make my stomach churn: What will happen to Chloe when we take her away from her grandparents and aunts and uncles? She sees many of them on a weekly (if not daily) basis. How will it effect her little psyche to suddenly rip her from all the stability that can only be provided through a loving extended family? And when baby #2 comes along, will I be able to manage ON. MY. OWN. with two little babies. Now, I realize I have my sweet hubby there. And it is not my intention to trivialize his role in taking care of the children. But the fact is that he is going to Korea to work. He will be gone during the daytime, almost every day. Here in Georgia, that wouldn't be an issue. If I get overwhelmed here, I just call one of the TWELVE phone numbers I have of people who are HAPPY to see Chloe for FREE so I can have a break. But what happens when I am on the other side of the world and Chloe is having a tantrum day and baby #2 didn't sleep last night and I haven't showered in four days and the laundry is backed up and people are coming over for dinner tonight??? What will I do THEN???

Now these fears, these are very real fears to me. These are fears that I can NOT allow myself to think about. These are fears that could keep me up at night. These are the things that make me doubt whether or not we're making the right decision.

But these fears are not too big for my Daddy God. I know that I know that I know that all those mini adventures and experiences have prepared us for this moment in our lives. I know that "God doesn't order something He can't pay for." If He has called us there, He is going to be my provider there... in every way.

So, for now, I don't allow myself to think about the fears and worries. Because there. is. nothing. I. can. do. about. them. Only Daddy God can take care of those things for me. So, since it's His responsibility now, what's the point in me thinking about them?

I may have even taken this to an extreme. I don't allow family members to talk with me about any negatives regarding this trip. (Some of them may even think I'm in denial about the "bad" side to moving to Korea.) But the fact is that those "negatives" are all too real, but they're not mine to deal with.

So I think about the positives. I talk about the positives. I get VERY excited about the positives. I'm moving to a new country! In a new apartment! With new people and new adventures! And I'm doing it with (and in support of) my best friend and husband! Not only that, but we're doing it in the absolute knowledge that we are walking in God's will. It's a very exciting time, y'all. Very good things are about to happen.


Kathryn said...

I am so exited for you guys. Wow! Your concerns for Chloe made me think of Hannah Clark. I bet she's got some good insight about the kids side of things--having taken Alana to Hawaii with Ben Joel for a year or so and having had a new baby over there. I realize it's much less "foreign," but they did experience the sudden distance from a very supportive extended family.

It will definitely be a big adjustment, but you have a GREAT attitude. I really admire your determination to harp on the positives and surrender the negatives to the Lord. Enjoy all that you can while you're there because that year and a half will be over before you know it!

I'm so glad we can still read your blogs while you're over there. It'll be so nice to keep in touch. Love you lots and praying for you guys.

MacKenzie said...

Hi! I just found your blog through Ministry So Fabulous and I am so excited to read about your plans. I lived in Seoul for almost two years in high school (my dad was in the army). I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have, because I was too busy being a sulky 16 year old, but looking back the experience was great. I can't wait to read more about it.

Christan said...

Awww I love you! you can do it!

The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood