Germany 1994 to Australia 2019 – My Own Circle of Life

Life has a way of repeating itself.

Doesn’t it?

Some may call it a circle of life. Certainly this was Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s take as they composed lyrics for Disney’s Lion King movie:

It’s the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love

Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle
The circle of life

lion king

Crazy enough, Lion King was released in 1994 – it may seem like yesterday – but in truth its release was twenty-five years ago.

This year was a significant one for me.

Back in July 1994, I boarded a Lufthansa airplane all by myself – without anyone accompanying me –  for the first time in my life. I crossed continents to visit my youngest brother, David, in Tübingen, Germany. David was finishing up a year-long cross-cultural experience as part of his undergraduate study program. David invited me for a short visit before he returned to Oregon.

Tübingen, Germany – where my brother studied in 1994.

I remember being nervous about traveling such a long distance all by myself.  I really wanted to go and share a fun experience with my brother. But, I was apprehensive.

My travel jitters underscored and highlighted other paralyzing fears that were wreaking havoc with me at the time. I was not happy with myself. I didn’t want these fears to prevent me from living an adventurous, meaningful, faith-filled life.

Thus, I determined that an international trip could be a pivotal God-ordained moment in time to help me overcome my fears – of travel, of relationships, and of the future.

How little did I know how correct I would be….

For it was in Germany in 1994, that my Lion Testimony was birthed – the year of Lion King – and my life  and how I interacted and looked for the Presence of my Savior would be changed forever. No exaggeration.

Munich Lion
This was one of two lions I first encountered in Germany on my trip in 1994 with my brother. These majestic beasts are located at Felderrnhalle (Field Marshall’ Hall) built near Munich’s former city gates.

Fast, fast, fast forward to 2001, and my life was about to circle around again. John and I were about to become parents of our second child.  We had enjoyed nineteen months of life with Micah, our first-born and we were ready to do it all over again with a second! You know, that circle of life thing!

Just seven weeks before Jake would join our family, John, Micah, and I headed to my parents’ beach house in Manzanita, Oregon to celebrate the Labor Day weekend. John and I wanted to give Micah Man some soon to be very-rare-one-on-one time.  His little world of all-about-me was about to be rocked at not just Jake’s arrival, but then again in another twenty months. Another brother would be coming!

In the course of three and a half years, three little boys cemented us as family. Joyfully rich and robust, our family life has proven to be adventurous, meaningful, and faith-filled ever since. As I look back to my faith-stretching prayers of 1994, truly my experience in Germany and the journey God led me upon served as a launch pad for the life I live today.

19 Month Old Micah
It was a gorgeous day at the beach with 19 month-old Micah.

And here we are – it’s 2019.

In less than  two days, two significant events from my past are about to parallel with events of my present. I’m boarding a plane for the first time, all by myself, to make an international trip. Like my brother, 25 years ago, Micah is finishing up his own year-long-cross-cultural experience, not in Germany, but in Australia.  Like my brother, Micah has invited me for a visit. And like that Germany trip, I’m a bit nervous to travel by myself. But unlike that Germany trip, I don’t have the relational fears and injuries of 25 years ago. This time, I’m traveling with an open, expectant, and joyous heart as I hope to make some incredible memories with my first-born son.

And like nearly 18 years ago, when John and I took Micah to the Oregon beach, this time Micah and I will be making memories on the eastern coast-line of Australia. I doubt we’ll have shovels and buckets and blankets. However, I’m certain, we’ll do the best we can without them. 😊

Friends keep inquiring about Micah’s and my trip and what I think about it all.

Honestly, I can’t quite believe it’s happening – even with just two days to go before my departure.

As I shared, I haven’t traveled by myself to a new country and continent in a quarter of a century. Truth be told, I haven’t done much of anything by myself in that span of time. I’ve pretty much always been in accompaniment mode – with a friend, with my husband, with my family, etc. As we planned for this time together, Micah and I decided to keep our time together fluid – waking up each day and seeing what we might like to do rather than having a fixed itinerary. Not having a schedule and a plan sounds lovely to me!

One thing I will do, though. Just like in 1994 when I traveled with the expectation to meet my Savior, hear His voice, and rely upon Him for each step of my journey, I’ll be doing the same in Australia in 2019.

In fact, I’ll be on the hunt for the Lion in the land of kangaroos, koalas, and kookaburras – and not just in a zoo and not just at the movies (A live-action release of Lion King comes out in July, can you believe it????!!!!)!

Yep, life has a way of circling around. The lessons learned from the past – even as far back as 1994 from a trip to Germany – offer precious insights on how I will live today. I am eager to explore Australia and celebrate and honor my son in the process – giving him lots of all-about-Micah time. What a precious gift to us both!

What do you think?

Have you had your own circle-back-around experiences in life?

What did you learn?

4 thoughts on “Germany 1994 to Australia 2019 – My Own Circle of Life

  1. Shirley Hethorn June 29, 2019 — 3:13 am

    I am so happy for your one “one-on-one” with Micha! It WiIl be a wonderful time of memory making! I am praying for this few days with Micah as he enters the world of adulthood, seeing life with new eyes. God Bless you both. Love.

    1. Thank you so much, Shirley! ❤

  2. Kristine Nelson June 29, 2019 — 5:24 pm

    Hi Heather,

    I am praying for you and Micah that you have safe and peaceful travels. Further, I pray you and Micah have a special time with joy, love, bonding and fun! May God Bless you both and keep you. May He shine His smiling face on you and Micah and give you both peace🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏Kris

    1. Thank you so much, Kristine! I appreciate every prayer! Sending you love and circling you in my prayers for health, strength, and stamina! With love, heather

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