The Random Writings of Rachel: Summer Vacation Changed My Life

Summer Vacation Changed My Life



Up until we left on our trip to Malaysia in July, I had a general idea of what the rest of my life would look like. I even had a blog post written out entitled "Plans for the Future," one I've since deleted. I'd graduate from cosmetology school and get a part-time job until Angel finished grad school.  When he got his nurse practitioner license, we'd move to a new state and have a few kids. I'd be a stay-at-home homeschool mom and teach children's church, we'd go to homegroup twice a month and make some new friends. Eventually, we'd be able to buy our own house and we'd gradually settle down into suburban American life. I knew I'd always write, and I knew Angel would always be good at his job.


It's a perfectly fine future, nothing wrong with it, but I felt a little sad whenever I thought about the years to come in my own life. That's not how I wanted to feel, but I had a hard time accepting that this very normal life was what I was made for. I didn't have a very normal childhood, and I didn't grow up with the desire for a two story house with a two car garage on a cul-de-sac. Both Angel and I felt directionless. We knew that Michigan wasn't our permanent home, but we didn't feel any particular desire to move anywhere specifically.

I clung to the belief that all God's plans for his children are good, that even if the prospect of my future didn't look appealing to me at the moment, it would be good and there would always be opportunities to serve God and to use the gifts I've been given.

That was what I thought about my future until August hit. Suddenly, life looks completely different.

Because we went on a summer vacation.

Angel spent a week and a half in Malaysia in July, and when he returned to America, he emailed me saying that he was convinced that we should live and work in Asia. That's kind of a surprising email to get from your spouse. Never before that moment had he shown real interest in living anywhere outside the U.S., though in my mind that had always been an option to pursue (except, ya know, I'm married, so I couldn't simply do something like move to China on my own--Angel was the reason I didn't spend a semester in China when I was in college). I questioned him a little, to see how serious he was. Over next couple days, I was surprised to hear him say he'd already told some of his family, and some of mine. He'd already decided what to do with possessions that we wouldn't be able to pack up and take overseas. He was serious.

Here's the thing about Angel: when he gets an idea, he sees it through. Our love story could be summarized as: Angel got the idea that his friend Rachel would make a good wife, and he made it happen. Let's be glad he doesn't get crazy ideas as often as I do.

In the space of a few weeks, our life looks completely different, and to me, it looks brighter. Angel has dropped out of his Master's program. He was only a couple classes in, we've faced roadblock after roadblock from school administration since the beginning of the program, and nurse practitioner is a position that does not widely exist in the countries we're looking at. For these reasons and others, it seemed clear that this wasn't the right plan for us.

Now we're exploring all manner of different options. The hardest part in any plan to live overseas is getting a visa and getting a job in a country that's not your own. 

This process could take up to a year or even longer than that. Right now, our life is focused on choosing how best to invest the time we have right now to get the experiences and the finances we need to get ready for a future that doesn't look quite as settled as we thought it did a few months ago. Lots of crazy plans and timelines are flying around. We need to cut back on expenses. No more buying anything that we can't take with us. If one career option doesn't open up by a certain time, we'll start investigating another. Would an M.Ed. help open doors for my overseas career? Does Angel need any further non-medical certifications or education? We've got resumes to update and people to contact--and man, I'm so glad that we've never bought curtains and that I didn't let Angel's convincing arguments talk me into buying a loveseat for the living room.

So, we're moving. We don't yet know when or where, but we're planning on it. I'm already in sorting and packing mode when it comes to our house, though that's really not the most practical thing for me to do right now. We're both excited about what's coming, and trust me, when I know for sure what that is, I'll let you in on it!

43 comments:

  1. It sounds so exciting! I hope you can move overseas soon like you are planning :)

    Away From The Blue

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  2. Wow! That is an exciting and bold adventure you are embarking on! I will make sure to pray for you both!!!

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  3. I bet that was a surprise when he told you that! Wow...big change....but I think it will be amazing. It's funny that even though we might have an exact plan of our life mapped out, God might (and usually does) have a totally different one for us!

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  4. How exciting!! I can't wait to see what lies ahead!

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  5. This is so EXCITING! I'm so happy for you. I'm sure it will all fall into place. Keep pushing towards your goal with an open heart and mind and it'll happen. I've done it several times in my life and it makes for a wild but memorable journey.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  6. That sounds so exciting! How fun! Good luck in everything!
    Our Fairy Tale

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  7. WOW! How exciting Rachel! Seriously, I'm thrilled for you! The Lord sees you, The Lord loves you and The Lord has you! :)

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  8. Dude! This is awesome! I am so excited for you - sometimes we think we have life all figured out - then God says "never mind!" Lol. I cannot wait to follow you along this journey!

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  9. This sounds so exciting! What a cool adventure to have. :)

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  10. So exciting - I can't wait to "come along" on this next chapter!

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  11. That's so exciting Rachel!!! I wish you all the luck and may yours and Angel's dreams come true.

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  12. Wow! Sometimes things can change so fast. I realize you're not moving yet, but the whole "plan" and idea has changed.

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  13. Wow! How exciting! It's a blessing that you're free to do this (and I love these interesting new facts about Angel's determination). I'd heard stories like these from missionaries before which only adds to my excitement that you're acting in God's will!

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  14. SO excited for you!! I can't even imagine how excited you must be, especially to live near your family again. Well, I can sort of imagine...I'd probably feel the same if my husband announced we're moving back to Seattle, haha. But seriously that's awesome, you're going to have so many adventures!!

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  15. How amazing!!! I'm excited to see where the Lord takes you!!! :-)

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  16. Wow. That's one heck of a decision. Super exciting though. I wish you both the very best during this planning process. I can't wait to read about finalized plans :)

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  17. Holy Moly! I'm totally excited for you - and amazed. =) My husband would never dream of saying anything like that to me, and {hey Angi} if I announced I wanted to move to Alaska he'd be all "go have fun with that, see you in January". =) But ahhhhh! I'm so excited for you!!!!!

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  18. Oh my goodness that is so exciting! :) I'm so glad that it's changing for the better. It's no fun looking into the future when you're not excited for what's up ahead!

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  19. Wow what big, amazing plans! It's so exciting that you know what you'll be doing but it will still be a bit surprising at the same time!

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  20. Wow what big, amazing plans! It's so exciting that you know what you'll be doing but it will still be a bit surprising at the same time!

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  21. I hope thay everything will go ok for you guys, and I know how it is to be on a tight budget because I'm on one as well (and for the next 5 years that is). If we don't make sacrifices we won't get were we want.Good luck!!

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  22. This is such exciting news! I'm happy for you guys!

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  23. That's SO exciting!!! I'm so thrilled for you guys!
    And I totally get what you mean by feeling sad and being confused by it--that's how I felt when it seemed that the rest of my life would be spent in my hometown. It's not a bad thing or a bad life, it just wasn't resting in my heart.
    YAY FOR NEW DIRECTION AND NEW GOALS!!!

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  24. How exciting! It's going to be such a great adventure. Good luck with everything!

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  25. What a brave thing to do! Not the going overseas part. The completely changing directions to follow your hearts part. How fun. I hope it's a wonderful experience for you both. I hope it feeds your souls. I hope it brings you and other joy. Best wishes!

    Happy Sharefest.

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  26. Oh man this is so exciting. I felt this same exact way when we were in Utah, but coming to dc changed everything. I have an interview Monday for ajob I'm temping at for a permanent position. I never thought that would happen and it will mean living away from each other for 5 months while Hal finishes his last semester, but it just makes me feel invigorated. I'm so glad that you guys have made this decision! What counties are you looking at?

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  27. Woah how exciting. I didn't even like moving from Minnesota to Wisconsin. Obviously I am a creature of habit.

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  28. That's a huge leap of faith but that's the thing - FAITH. Faith will take you through. Good luck and may it all fall into place for you both. Thanks for stopping by my blog on this SITS Saturday.

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  29. So exciting! Whatever you do, you will excel and find happiness. Can't wait to follow you!

    Betsy
    www.lifestyledsimply.com

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  30. That sounds so exciting! I can't wait to read more about this! I moved to a strange country myself so I know how you probably feel! :)

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  31. Wow wow wow! Amazing things are coming...

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  32. This is so incredible! I really admire that you guys are following an instinct and seeing it through- so inspiring. You have an amazing adventure ahead!

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  33. Rachel! Wow! I cannot wait to see what God unfolds for the two of you!

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  34. Congrats! I can't wait to see what God has in store for you. I hope you continue to listen to God's direction, and I hope you can continue to hear it clearly.

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  35. Oh my goodness that is awesome! It's amazing where life takes us sometimes. Props to both of you for having the courage to do something "out of the box" and take a leap like this! :)

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  36. Rachel, that sounds so exciting! I know exactly what you mean about when the present and future is looking good, but something is still not right. Best of luck to both of you in your preparations and job search!

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  37. How exciting!!!! And scary!!!! God certainly is leading you somewhere and has given you an adventurous heart for a reason!
    I remember that period of "don't buy anything unless it can be moved or stored" and it made Christmas and birthday present shopping soooo difficult, but it's also such a liberating feeling, knowing that possessions can't tie you down :) Praying that all goes well in your preparations and the ups and downs of paper work and visas! :D

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  38. I will be looking forward to follow posts on the future changes. Exciting!
    Maria

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