Alien Alone…

I’m sorry, but I can not, for the life of me, seem to put a “chipper” post together this week. I thought it best to not blog at all, but then I thought about all you amazing ladies who read my blog and that some of you probably have broken hearts right this minute that far outrank my own.

Honestly, I’m just too sad to pick myself up by the bootstraps (I’m wearing flip-flops anyway) My heart is still strapped to the picture of my Mom’s sad face, looking back at me one last time before she disappeared through the gate to board her plane back to South Africa. It was an emotional good-bye with lots of shattered hopes and unfinished business. I felt so helpless. I couldn’t fix anything! This girl, the self proclaimed “maker of plans”, couldn’t do a thing!

After ten years in America, I’m still not used to the goodbyes. The sight of an airplane and the smell of the airport still makes my stomach turn. Too many tears have been shed in that spot, always with the knowing that years will pass, our toddlers will be teenagers, and we will all be much older next time we meet. To be an alien in a different country usually means to be cut off from your loved ones. When you leave there are always promises and expectations of many visits, but you soon realize that it was just a dream. The reality: They are on the other side of the world, it’s expensive, it’s difficult to get a travel visa, and travel is not always easy or even possible.

After we dropped my Mom off I felt so alone… I wandered through the house aimlessly, and then I started crying, for one week straight! I cried every time I made tea in the polka dot tea mugs she bought me, I cried when I put a sundress on my little girl (a gift from grandma), and I cried once more when my nine year old said “Ouma gave me this camera Mom, I will treasure it forever”

Please understand, I’m so grateful my mom is still alive! I am so thankful that we can still skype and email, but it’s the hugs I will miss the most, and the smell of her perfume that still lingers in our home, and especially the picture of her holding my kids…

Goodbye would have been sad enough, but we all had a dream of having a family member in our lives after ten years of being “aliens alone”. When we said goodbye to my Mom that dream was shattered. For a short while we felt again the joy of having a grandma that would come to birthday parties, a grandma who would makes surprise visits, and a grandma who sees and believes only the best about her grand kids. Now that dream was gone, and my heart was bleeding for us, but more so for her…

Now of course I wrestled with God about this. Didn’t I beg him for a miracle for more than ten years? Couldn’t he have made me stronger? Couldn’t I have done more? Couldn’t He have turned defeat into a victory? I wasn’t really angry, just so broken…

Moving to a different country is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Even if the people are as friendly as you guys, and the country is safe and wonderful, it’s just not yours and it’s just not familiar. Everything you ever accomplished in your life doesn’t matter, because it was done in a different language, in a different way, and it had different value. You feel as if you have just been born, and for many years you’re not sure what to do and where you belong…

So two days ago my eye caught a passage God used to bring healing to my heart when I was a brand new “alien” in this country. It’s in Isaiah 6 and it talks about how Isaiah saw the Lord, in all His majesty and glory, in the year that king Uzziah died. Beth Moore calls it “the passing of the King” or in my case “the passing of a dream” and how it can be a time to see God’s glory and get to know Him in a whole new way.

I cried so hard I’m sure the neighbors heard me! Here I was, at those crossroads again, and I had to choose. In the words of Beth “Will this hurt to hurt, or hurt to heal?” I want it to not just hurt this bad for nothing, but as the dream died in my heart, I begged God to bring life out of it. I am still asking Him to show Himself to me and my mom again, and draw us a little bit closer to His heart.

And then yesterday, there was an email from a brand new friend I’ve made in Houston Texas. She encouraged me to listen to Hillsong’s Desert Song on Youtube. Thanks so much Denni! While listening to that song, I felt it… the tug of His hand, pulling me closer to His tender heart of love once again…

Are you hurting today? Is your heart broken? Are you grieving the loss of something or someone? I’m so sorry… I wish I had something eloquent to say to you. But if I could, I would hug you and tell you:  “Hide, sweet sister, hide under the everlasting wing! He will turn your mourning into dancing again…”

Lots of love, Heleen

A picture of me and my Mom, many moons ago!

PS: I’m sure you would like to know how all of this affected me in the food area: I am glad to report that there were no midnight runs to KFC, Dairy queen or Krispy Creams. I am so grateful to God that He kept me on my knees with only a stack of kleenex between us. My lowest moment (food wise) was when I stole a handful of Cheetos from a stranger! Okay, it was my husband, but I couldn’t recognize him through the tears.

Seriously, if you struggle with food, you know that this was not a little thing for me, but rather a huge victory over the enemy!

4 thoughts on “Alien Alone…”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this Heleen. I need God to help me deal with a my broken heart and you encouraged me to keep looking to him and not to food in this time. Love Ashley

  2. Oh, sweetie…I’m so sorry. It must be so hard to move to another country and then say good bye to your mom. I can only relate in the fact that I’ve moved across the country twice. And at the time, it too, was the hardest thing I had ever done.

    I’ll say a prayer for you…that God comforts you and sustains you and fills all the empty, hurting places of your heart.


    p.s. your post will run on my blog Thursday night at 10 pm and stay up all weekend. Hopefully, that will make you smile a little. 🙂 You bless me.

  3. I’m sorry you’ve been so sad Heleen. I had no idea of all the hard things you guys had to go through. Your mom looks like such a sweet lady. I hope she will be okay (and you dear friend)Love, Jodie

  4. Hi Heleen, thank you for sharing your heartache. I am from the States, but I live overseas in Albania, half a world from my mother. We are blessed to be here, but it is challenging at times. I understand. You’re not alone. Jesus loves you very much. I’m sending a big hug your way!


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