A Look Back

It’s now been 5 months in The Netherlands, 5 months in a country I never thought I would let myself consider home. I want to take a look at the process, how my mind set was when I came versus how it is now. There are so many big changes that have happened and things that have permanently changed me. I dare say this past 5 months have been the biggest trial in my life so far, and I honestly did not think I would be able to come through and be where I am at this present moment, but I can honestly say that I am once again okay, and I am happy. I hope this brings encouragement to you too.

When I first landed in The Netherlands on June 23 2017, I walked into Schiphol airport with a tear stained face not wanting one bit to be there. I had just said goodbye to Singapore, my best friends, and my boyfriend which was probably one of the most painful goodbyes I had to do. A few days later my sister and my dad joined us in The Netherlands and we spent a week running around the country for our Dutch Exams, getting bank accounts, being registered, etc. I don’t recall that week being much fun and all I wanted was to go back to Singapore to everyone I loved. The next weeks were spent setting up the house, running more errands, and doing fun things with my parents. I started to enjoy it more with the drive that I would only be living in The Netherlands for 1-2 years before moving to the States. That thought kept me going, knowing it would pass quicker than we realised as long as I kept busy.

Summer carried on and my dad flew back to Singapore, as my sister and I were prepping to start college. Summer break seemed to last forever, but once I met up with some acquaintances I had met at school I started getting more excited. We started school with an intro camp of 4 days which I started off enjoying a bunch, until the break up came. The first day of camp we broke up and I could no longer enjoy camp. My whole mind was flooded with thoughts constantly about this and how I could maybe fix things. In this I was incredibly touched by the care of my classmates. These people barely knew me but gave me all the love and support I needed while I tried to piece my life back together. For 6 weeks I lost hope and was on the verge of dropping out of my school because I no longer wanted to do Social Work, for 6 weeks I let myself overthink the situation and feel the pain and cry, for 6 weeks I hated this country with everything in me because everything reminded me of the relationship. I called my parents and told them I was ready to drop out and leave, move back to Singapore where everything was familiar and I knew I would be okay again. But after 6 weeks I got the closure I needed (mentioned in my previous blog posts) and all of a sudden I was okay. I still don’t understand the switch of depressed to okay but it happened and I was able to piece my life back together.

Since then its been a build up continuously, I gained the courage to speak out in class with discussions, I became more social and started building new friendships, I started focusing on other people instead of myself, and I no longer hate this country. I’ll be honest and say I’m quite done with the cold but hey the country overall is pretty cool. Since this switch I’ve made two new friends at school that I’ve felt a good click with, we have similar interests in things and get along very well. I’ve been able to fully put my energy into my job as a bartender and enjoy it too. My point is that I can actually enjoy my life again and be content with where I’m at. There’s goals and room to grow and I can now focus on that and doing what I need to do to get to where I picture my future to be.

It went from homesick, to pure heart break and loss of hope for life, to being okay again eventually to happy. I realised with God in control I don’t need to lose hope for my life because he may take things away from me in the most painful way, but I’ve also learned he always provides. There is something greater that he has in store than what I had planned, and from previous experience I have seen its much more fruitful to trust in his plan than fight it and make your own. To end I want to give you a verse that helped pull me through my dark times, Romans 8:37-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord

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