A blog from Army&You’s spring 2022 edition by Ellen Owusu @mimifosu

What do you say to your soldier when he tells you “my endless, I have just been promoted… and guess what, we’re all moving to Belgium for two years”?

As the supportive wife, I was naturally happy for him. He has worked hard for it, but truth be told, upon hearing the news, my mind flooded with the repercussions that lay ahead. The biggest was that I had to resign from my job, and not for the first time.

Moving to a different country with the added stress of COVID restrictions was a whole different level of emotional experience. I didn’t know what to expect with the people, weather, culture and food. Most importantly, how would the children settle into the new environment?

Moving to Belgium was going to be a really big change. Thankfully I’ve learned a lot of coping strategies over the years – my experiences have taught me not to get too comfortable. The starting point of preparation was the mental shift — think of the positives, the benefits, and expect the best ahead! There was no point giving room for doubt. Alors, Bruxelles, je viens!

I studied French in senior secondary school and a bit at university, so I’m confident with my written French, but when it comes to my oral French, hmmm. Moving to Belgium is the perfect opportunity to improve and I’m looking forward to new job opportunities. Each time I’ve got a new job, it’s always turned out to be better than my previous one.

The period of settling in always offers me that opportune break I need to think about my personal growth, my family and carefully plan my next move. Most importantly, I make time for my first love — writing.

The Bible has always been my well of wisdom, providing refreshing words of encouragement. Genesis 28:15 was a powerful guide for the move abroad: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Change is inevitable, we can’t control it, but by embracing it, we will discover an opportunity for growth. So yes, for God, for country, and for the love of my life, the adventure continues!

Ellen is this edition’s best blogger. She wins an afternoon tea experience for two at a Classic Lodges hotel – a nationwide collection of exclusive hotels that all have their own charming character, whether that’s a peaceful country getaway or a city centre stay. Each of the hotels provides a friendly, relaxing atmosphere while maintaining Classic Lodges’ signature style, comfort and luxury – including the stunning Lakeside Hotel & Spa, situated in the heart of the Lake District or the magnificent grounds at Charingworth Manor in the Cotswolds.

Afternoon tea includes dainty made-to-order finger sandwiches, sweet treats, homemade scones and a glass of Lanson champagne.

To book your stay, visit classiclodges.co.uk/specialoffers

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