One afternoon driving through Rotterdam I noticed an advertisement for a Maritime Offshore Career Event.
I wasn’t exactly sure what a Maritime Offshore Career Event was, but I knew what the words ‘Career Event’ meant. Since I needed a career, I figured I had nothing to lose, so I registered. I had been to career events before, so in the days leading up to the event I worked on my resume, tweaked my LinkedIn profile and researched the companies that would be there.
Finally the day arrived, I was ready, resume in hand!
I arrived early so I could maximize my time and visit all the exhibitors. Career events don’t come along very often, so I didn’t want to waste the opportunity. However as I started to walk around the show, visiting each booth my excitement started to fade. Most of the jobs were geared towards ship building, oil drilling or some type of a technical sailing nautical job. Skills I don’t have, unless of course the summers I spent as a kid on Lake St. Clair learning to sail a one manned sail boat qualified me!
So I paused, took a deep breath trying to figure out what to do next. I glanced at the booths around me and I couldn’t help but notice a woman standing there, she was busy talking to someone else, however they were speaking English! So I slowly approached them, listening to the conversation. I could feel my eyes widening with curiosity as my heart started to quicken. I tried to patiently wait for the gentleman to leave …
FINALLY, she was free … it was my turn. I introduced myself and we started to talk about why I was attending the show and how I ended up in the Netherlands. I told her my story and my many heart breaking moments since moving here and then she asked me the million dollar question …. “What is it you want to do?”
When I left Canada 22 months ago, I honestly had no idea the challenges I would encounter moving abroad. I just assumed that since the Netherlands was part of the Western world and not a developing country everything would go smoothly. I had travelled the world extensively both for work and personal, I’ve had to deal with many different cultures and overcome many obstacles and I thought I had managed all of it quite well. Besides, I had read many articles on ‘what to do and what not to do when moving abroad’, so what could possibly go wrong? I figured I was ready …..
While I was going through the process all I could think about was how much I wished I had someone to help me with the transition. Even the simple things were challenging, I would go to the grocery store equipped with my trusted translator, only to come home three hours later with only 10 items in my bag. I felt alone, frustrated and isolated from the world because even the few friends and family I had couldn’t understand my struggle. Most had never experienced this themselves and had no comprehension of the daily trials I faced. Plus they had their own busy lives, they didn’t have the time for me. Looking back I’ve often thought that my frustration probably could have been minimized if the person I was dealing with would have just listened and empathized with my situation, even if there was nothing they could do to help. Sometimes you just need someone to listen to you ….
Often times I found myself asking God how can I make this experience better for someone else? How could I utilize my past work experience and somehow combine it with the challenge of moving abroad? I continued to explain to this complete stranger, how I would love to just take an expat family by the hand and lead them through the transition from packing up their lives and moving, often times across the globe to some foreign destination, leaving everything they know to be true behind and venture into the unknown.
Well wouldn’t you know …. that is precisely what this woman does and the company she represented had an opening doing exactly that!
I left that day, filled with excitement reminding myself that God has a plan for my life, and only wants the best for me. Jeremiah 29:11 says …. ‘For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ However short life is here on earth compared to the hope and promise of eternity, always seek God and wait for His perfect timing, because in Romans 8:26-28 we are reminded that the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. So be encouraged, and always remember God’s got it!
Yep, it’s true, He does, because if you haven’t already heard ….. I start my new job on Tuesday!
His for sowing,