You get TWO posts tonight!
I’m in a writing kind of mood and something else significant happened this week. Yesterday in fact.
I’ve written before about my exchange and I was nothing short of excited and enthusiastic. In fact, I was ecstatic, and there was nothing I was looking forward to more.
So why is this post about disappointment?
Because yesterday I got the confirmation email telling me where I’m going.
This August I will move to * drum roll* Brussels, Belgium.
I realize how silly this would sound:
“Hey, how are you?”
“I’m going on exchange next year.”
“I’m going to Brussels…”
Yeah, I get it, that’s not a good reason to be upset.
But those who know me know how set I was on Lyon. While my heart is in Paris, I really got into the idea of living in Lyon and all my plans and preparations where for Lyon.
I was envisioning what my life might be like… living in France.
The email telling me I would be going to ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) was one of the most soul-crushing emails I’ve ever had to read. I wasn’t even expecting my emotional reaction.
I brought this upon myself though. I challenged God.
When I submitted my application, Lyon was my first choice, Paris my second, and Brussels was a reluctant third because I really didn’t think I’d ever get bumped down to a third choice, but the rules said I needed one. When I handed in the papers I told God, “These are my choices, but please, take care of it, send me where I need to go according to your plan.”
So He did. “Are you sure you wanted me to send you, Rita? Did you really trust in my plan?”
So basically, I’ve been crying for two days because I’ll be telling people, “I live in Brussels,” and they’ll think of brussels sprouts (because even I think of brussels sprouts) and their noses will crinkle because no one like brussels sprouts.
It’s not a city that excites me.
But I know it’ll be a great experience and I really do see that this is God’s plan. I’ve been learning and growing a lot this year, it’s been challenging to me. And now it’s time to put what I’ve learned and experienced into practice. It’s time to listen to God, go where He’s sent me and follow what His plan is for me.
But I do want to explain why I’m upset. It’s not really enough to say, “I really wanted to go to Lyon!”
I was excited about the atmosphere and culture I’d be in. I would have been surrounded by the French, the language, the people and the community. It would have been a much more mono-cultural and I was excited for that. I love French culture (and wine) and even though Lyon is the second biggest city in France, it has a small city feel to it (or so I’ve read) and that’s what I really wanted to experience.
Sure, Brussels/Belgium has waffles and chocolate (which I’m sure I will appreciate at least once a month) but it’s a bigger city, with a much more international, multicultural kind of atmosphere and while I would have loved to visit, it’s not where I wanted to live.
But, that’s enough being disappointed and upset. If I go into this angry and negative, I won’t have a good experience, but I’m making a conscious decision to be positive right now. I know I will enjoy this experience, I know it will be amazing and because I’m trusting God, I know it’ll be right.
He has a purpose and plan for me, and it’ll be awesome!
This certainly wasn’t my plan – in fact, this was the furthest thought in my mind, Brussels was really unexpected – but it’s His and that makes it infinitely better… It’s actually perfect.
As a side note, I’m trying to comfort myself with the thought that perhaps my future husband is waiting in Brussels… Everyone said I was going to meet and marry a French guy, but maybe there’s someone better in Belgium (not necessarily a Belgian guy).
Anyway, we never know where life will take us, but the ride is so much better, so much more fulfilling and exciting when we accept the adventures God puts before us.
Also, when I came home from school today, my dad told me he’d already bought a tour in Belgium for us!