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In Which I Confess I’ve Not Yet Found My Footing

I wake up around 9am. It’s Thursday, July 4th, and I am home in my bed in Ohio.

A year has passed since my family and I spent our first holiday away from the normal of family surrounding us, cooking out with friends, watching fireworks, grilling hot dogs, eating watermelon and red-white-and-blue Jell-o molds.

It was on a Wednesday last year. My husband had to work. Because, strangely enough, Germans don’t call the 4th of July a holiday. They just treat it like any other day.

I felt a bit lost last year in the newness of that strange-to-us place, celebrating the birthday of my homeland from the other side of Β the ocean.

But that pushed me into a plan. We made the most of our Americanness and celebrated with paper-made fireworks displays and a parade in our tiny German living room.


Somehow, though, I feel lost this year too. Even though I am now safely Stateside. And the 4th of July has now passed in all its glory. Fireworks, friends, bbq’s and all.

It’s not that I don’t want to be here. I do.

I am so happy to be home. Continually amazed at the growth I’ve been able to see in both of my kids. Deep-in-my-heart encouraged by the mere gathering I get to do with other Jesus-followers now on a weekly basis. Sleeping on my own long-lost pillow in my very comfy king-sized bed.

I do want to be here. Right here at home.

But something is amiss. I can’t seem to find my footing. Can’t grab hold of the comfort and relief I thought I would feel the minute we stepped back into our home. Or at least by now, a whole month later.

We go shopping for a few things, and it hits me just how grumpy I am. How unsettled I still feel.

And I realize I am angry.

Angry at myself for taking so long to re-enter life here.

I try to figure the depth of the issues. The anger. The grumpy. I can think of only one solution.

The one I am fairly sure will not bring instant relief.

I pray.

I go back to this morning, and every one of the last 71 mornings, when I laid on my face and begged God to help me remember He’s Who is in charge. Plead with Him to help me trust His ways again today. Tell Him again I will follow if He will lead.

It’s become more than habit for me. More than just discipline.

Laying myself out before the God of my life has become my foundation.

The only piece of Rock my feet can seem to find. The only solid piece of anything from which I can find enough balance to even sort of stand up in this midst of the unexpected wobbling caused by this whole re-entry thing.

It sometimes feels like the only place that hasn’t changed since walking back into life over here is the laying on my face, wholeheartedly confessing my absolute need for God to walk me through the day that awaits me on other side of my bedroom door.

So many of you ask “Are you all settled in?” I love seeing you. And chatting. And hugging you.

I want to say “yes! We are so glad to be back. I so badly want to tell you how our lives are changed forever. I want to invite you over to my completely settled home, free of all the clutter we threw out after our year of not needing any of it.

But the truth – oh the truth — holds me back.

Because I am nowhere near being settled. My heart is stuck somewhere between Bayreuth, Germany and Northeast Ohio. Iceland, perhaps?

And I feel like a total Drama Queen for it.

Because, really, isn’t a year long enough? Isn’t twelve months an ample amount of time for unsettled and moving and figuring out how to be and who to be? Honestly, nobody wants to hear more drama.

Not even me.

So here is where I tell you how dear you are to me. And I ask you for even more grace than you all have already given as I figure out how to be me, all changed and upgraded by the uncomfortable and awesome or our year abroad.

In the meantime, I will keep waiting for the God of all I am and all I know to show up and point me in the way I should go.





15 Thoughts on “In Which I Confess I’ve Not Yet Found My Footing

  1. I’m thinking…I’ve missed your voice! Your words. To me your situation makes perfect sense, I get it. The in betweens are tough and it is difficult to extend grace to self because it just doesn’t make “sense” to us. God bless you, it will come

  2. Yes, yes, we DO want to hear it! All of it in it’s beautiful honesty. And yes, it should be taking you this long (in my opinion). It wouldn’t make sense to not have this experience affect you forever. And maybe this is exactly what God wants you to continue to wrestle with, because NONE of us should be too settled anywhere. This is not our home, right? Would love to hear your thoughts on that one!
    Love you so very much!!!

  3. Dave Zigler on July 8, 2013 at 1:21 am said:

    Joan and I felt the same way each time we came home from Germany, glad to be home but somehow also terrified of being home. In our case so many things had transpired in the four years that we were gone….twice 1973 and 1980. It took some time for us to settle back into our pre-Germany life, but it DID come eventually and it will for you also.

    • Wow! Yes, four years is a really long time. I imagine that took quite a bit of time! So good to know we will settle in. I know this in my head, but I must admit, I sometimes start to wonder. πŸ˜‰

  4. Melissa Aylsworth on July 8, 2013 at 2:22 am said:

    You’re not alone…I’ve been back to this place we call home for two years now and something has changed…ME!! Thank you so much for the humble reminder that we do need to lift up all our concerns (unsettled feelings), xo

  5. Linda on July 8, 2013 at 2:36 am said:

    I am thinkin’…your honesty is refreshing to me. As others have said, you are going through something pretty normal, I think it is called “life”…with many changes which aren’t always easy but usually always good, especially when you have God on your side… and please remember you are still Bria.. sweet, honest, God fearing and beautiful!! Hang in there!! Love ya!!

  6. Good Morning Dear Brianna,
    Thank you for your honesty.
    I think you may always find your new life in your old house will never be the same as when you left.
    You are looking for someone who isn’t there. You are not the same. So when you find your new footing, it won’t look like it did when you left. Because you are different.
    Your mind is still in Germany, in the coffee shops there. Eventually you will find a new normal.
    May I suggest, you give yourself grace. And don’t put a time-line on grief. You can mourn the loss of your home there, as you celebrate your pillow here. Grief and joy on the same day.
    Praying for you to find your footing.

  7. Becky on July 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm said:

    I love that you are honest and real. It does make perfect sense that you can’t quite find your footing. You are a different person and so is your family after the year you just experienced. We all love you and love seeing you. Take your time figuring life out back home and know that we’re all loving that you are here.

  8. Hi Brianna, I read your sweet, thoughtful post when I was on the road and didn’t have a chance to leave a comment. Just knowing you as a reader of your blog, it seemed to me that your generous heart fell in love with Germany in many ways, and it’s not surprising that it would be hard to adjust to coming back here, to what in many ways must seem like the Wild West compared to Europe. It is a wonderful, beautiful thing that you have prayer to rely on, that you have the loving arms of God to fall into, and I hope you will allow his grace and patience to comfort you. By the way, I can’t tell you how much I love the paper fireworks. Pure genius.

  9. You are not the same person. You have grown through your experiences. The in-between is a difficult place to find one’s self. It’s like being a sloshing glass of water that’s waiting to be calmed. You think you’re there, and the glass gets bumped, once again. It took me a long time to find my footing on two returns. I think the latter was toughest because it was coupled with entering into civilian life. Just be patient with yourself. You’ll have arrived when you’ve least expected it.

  10. Hi, Brianna,

    I wanted to stop by and visit you–introduce myself. I’m so excited (and grateful) to be rooming with you at Allume! I am your neighbor, over here in WV. I wonder how far away we are?

  11. So nice to meet you Brianna! I’m thinking you’re doing great- transitions are always “challenging” πŸ™‚ Your foot is on the Rock- His hand is holding yours- take as much time as you need to adjust- The Lord delights over you! Thanks for sharing your heart sweet girl!

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