So many amazing people have been a part of our lives in the past 3.5 years in Lyon. God gifted us incredible relationships that we will be forever grateful for. Moving to a foreign country is extremely lonely, but it doesn't have to stay that way for long. There are so many incredible people around the world and many of them were in our lives in Lyon.
The Masse Family
When we had officially decided to move to Lyon, one of the most exciting parts for me was getting to know Will's family and learning even more about why he was the way he was and who this family was that he spoke so highly of. I didn't have the opportunity to interact much with them before we were married, so we did everything backwards instead. It was fun to be in an atmosphere where I could learn in depth about the French culture by seeing how a French family lives, what they eat, how they spend their weekends, etc. My favorite thing about the Masse family is their strong bond with one another.... Dinners were hours long because the conversations never ended. They know how to have fun and connect on a deep level with one another. Will and I talk often about our future family and the beautiful pieces of French culture and family that we want to implement.
We are extremely grateful for the support they gave us in Lyon. They opened up their home to us the first 3 months we were there, they helped us transition into both apartments we lived in, they supported Will at every home basketball game, they were a huge financial help for us, they had us over for countless delicious homemade French meals, they loved our sweet baby Joey, and they were always willing to help wherever and whenever it was needed. We had lots of fun traveling together, taking walks in the park, playing games, enjoying restaurants and coffee shops, celebrating birthdays and holidays, and cheering side by side at basketball games.
I'm also so very thankful that Will's mom opened up the opportunity for me to begin working with her at her company and that I was able to have a job in France for 2.5 years. It's always a blessing to have family living close by, something we were really fortunate to have in Lyon.
We look forward to them traveling to stay with us in Denver, and many more trips to Lyon in the future!
Another really cool part about my time in Lyon was being able to work in a French company. Will's mom offered me a job as an Administrative Assistant and I ended up working there 2.5 years. It was fun to experience the French work place and meet tons of new people. My colleagues showed so much kindness to me and tons of grace with my French. Haha We shared lots of croissants regularly and one of my favorite memories is introducing them to some of my favorite American music. Below is the sweet gift they gave me... An Asvel (Lyon's professional basketball club) jersey that they all signed.
Our Church Community
As Will and I were packing up our apartment, I came across the journal I used the year leading up to the move. On February 1st, 2015 (10 months before we moved) I wrote all about my fears of not having friends and not having a church family when we moved to Lyon... Little did I know that God would blow us both away with the incredible people he put in our lives and the body of Christ that exists in Lyon. We found our church family in April of 2016, 4 months after we moved. The months leading up to that were extremely difficult without having this community. Through our church we found deep connection and community with people coming from all over the world. We were blessed to have an English speaking small group, a women's Sisterhood group, a church we loved, and so many friendships. Through our time in Lyon, these wonderful people prayed with/for us, encouraged us, helped challenge and grow us, and brought so much joy to our lives. We shared many movie nights, game nights, meals, sports events, picnics, birthdays and holidays, and conversations with these people. Moving is hard when you're leaving behind so many great people, but it also means growing your community around the world and meeting new people in the future. Many of these people are lifelong friends that we'll remain close to and continue to stay connected with. We are so thankful for the body of Christ that exists around the world... I had no idea that when we moved 4000 miles away to France, that we'd find such an amazing community. We're thankful for Hillsong church, the leaders, the community, and the growth and love we experienced there.
Here are pictures of some of the special friends in our lives the past 3.5 years.
Joey is going to miss his sweet friends Ellie, Kody, and Nalia!!!