Being home is one of the most wonderful surreal things. It has also been quite the adjustment. There are days where I feel like I am drowning. When I first got home, everything just felt so foreign. The people, the cars, the roads, the language, the food. Everything. I remember the first day I was home, it was hard for me to walk into my house, because I didn't know where to put my shoes. And then all meals were on big plates, and it scared me a little bit. Or when I would try to explain something or tell a story, and I couldn't think of the right words to say. I think the hardest day though, was the day that I first tried to drive again. I freaked out the entire 20 minutes to my sister's house, and as we were just down the road, I turned onto the wrong side of the road (left turns still take a LOT of mentally reminding myself to stay to the right). Luckily it was a back road, and no one was there, but man did it scare me. As soon as we got into the driveway, I gave the keys to my mom, and told her I didn't want them anymore. Then we went to go inside, and I freaked out again. I had a little anxiety attack as I reminded myself that it was okay. I could still take off my shoes, and then just sit them by the door. I got inside, and was shaking so much. I went straight to the couch and just sat there curled up into a ball laughing and crying at the ridiculousness of the situation. I remember feeling so weird.
Well, slowly but surely, things started to get a little bit more normal. We had a wonderful Christmas, and then about a week after I had come home, I was able to go to the temple with my mama and daddy. What a wonderful blessing that was. The temple is just filled with so much peace. I missed the temple! After we spent some time in the temple, we stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way home for some dinner. While we were there, I felt like maybe I should apply to work at Cracker Barrel. I knew that I needed to find a job, but I wasn't quite sure what, or where, but I felt like I should apply. The next morning I sent in an application, and then two hours later I got an email asking me to call and set up an interview. The next day I had an interview, which went really well, and oddly enough we ended up talking about my mission. After my interview, I was told that he would call me that night to schedule the second mandatory interview. Well, that night I got a phone call, but instead of it being to set up another interview, it was instead offering me a tentative job, as long as my background check checked out. The whole time, I knew that for some reason, I needed to work at Cracker Barrel, and Heavenly Father was leading me to this.
The question that I think I hear the most is what are your plans now? They are always surprised when I tell them that I am planning on moving to Australia. The next question is always, well, what is in Australia? The biggest reason I am moving to Australia is because that is what feels right. A wonderful perk to being in Australia is that my best friend will be there too.
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Now that time has passed and I am a little bit more settled, I will give you an update.
I was able to get that job at Cracker Barrel. ;) It has been working out really well, and I am grateful to have a job that helps me earn enough money to go to Australia.
I have found a wonderful family in Brisbane, and will be moving there in May (stop by my new blog Southern Belle in the Land Down Under for my new adventures). I will also be living 20 minutes away from my best friend. We couldn't be more excited. It has been incredible to watch the hand of the Lord in every step of this. First with feeling like I was supposed to go, and then with helping me to find a way to be there (au pair), then finding the perfect family, and then with visa stuff, and money, and timing. Everything. I am so grateful for my loving Heavenly Father that leads and guides me every day.
Being home from a mission can be hard. It is sometimes hard to know that you have all these things to worry about now, like what am I going to do with my life, and where do I need to go? I was talking with some other return missionaries, and missionaries recently about what it is like to be home. At first I just remember it being weird, like there were all these new things and changes. Like I was coming home more culture shock then I had when I got to Japan. Well, now that I have been home a little bit longer, I have started to get back into the swing of things. I have a job. I've gotten to spend time with my family. I have new and exciting plans. My life is really good right now. But, despite all the good, sometimes I just feel like I am drowning, or like I am just struggling to stay afloat, which is weird if you think about all the awesome things I've got going on.
This is something that I have been thinking about a lot recently. Feeling like I am just trying my best to push through, and to not be consumed by all the things around me. It has been on my mind and in my prayers a lot. During General Conference Elder Holland's talk (Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You) spoke to me personally. Elder Holland spoke a lot about how I have been feeling lately. About the change that comes when we go from a very spiritual high back into normal life. I decided to read through it again a few nights ago. The thing that I love the most is just how much our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. He never wants us to fail. In fact He wants more than anything to bless us. And He does, as long as we are trying our best. Sure sometimes life changes, the situations we are in change, we start sinking and feel like we are drowning with no one there to rescue us, but there is someone there. Jesus Christ. And as long as we try, and we do all that we can to follow Him, then we are doing enough. And if we have a bad day, or a bad week, or even a bad couple of months, He is always there. Ready and waiting, with Him arms extended. He will never fail us. And as long as we are trying our best, we won't fail Him either. So, here is to trying to be more trusting of my Heavenly Father.