Over the past fifteen months there have been so many changes for my family. I feel that the biggest change for me that has come from our move to South Africa is on a more personal level – my heart. No amount of pictures, stories, or trips could have prepared me for one of the biggest changes of my life. I was heartbroken to have left our Yorkie, Mae Mae, in Michigan. I was tired of suitcases and sharing a bedroom, even with my best friend. I didn’t want to sleep in a bunk bed, I wanted MY bed. I didn’t want our friends’ dog, I wanted MY dog. I was so busy being sad that I could hardly see all of the happy things right in front of my face. I just felt like I couldn’t stop crying. Why did we ever leave Michigan? This strange place didn’t feel like home. Then I had to write poem for my literature assignment about a special place. I actually tried to write about my old home, but I couldn’t. I didn’t live there any longer. My new home was here. And so I began to write…..
Mountains reaching the highest heights,
And vast cities of twinkling lights.
Grassy plains full of springbok and wildebeest,
The sparkling Indian Ocean to the east.
Rolling hills with grazing cows and woolly sheep,
The sound of crickets chirping as you drift off to sleep.
In all this beauty I see my Father’s hand;
This place is my heart’s motherland.
And with that poem I came to realization that this place is my new home. That was when my heart truly began to change. Unfortunately, I didn’t exactly have an attitude adjustment right away – that was a little longer in coming – but now I see things in a whole new way. My heart has come to a different place and I have grown so much in my relationship with God. I am learning how to have a forever peace, an unquenchable joy, and an unselfish love. I will always treasure the time of growing up in Michigan and laughing with friends and family. I will always be thankful for the amount of time that I was able to take horse riding lessons. I will always love Mae Mae. And I still miss my old bed. But now I am making room in my heart for new things. I have found lots of things to love. I am making new friends, and I have a new puppy, my sweet little Poppy. I am even taking ballroom dancing lessons! To begin to enjoy all of the good things God wanted to give me, I had to first let go of something old so that I could have something better. Looking back, I can see that now. For me the move to Africa has not been so much of a change of location as it really has been a transformation of my heart.