God and Sexual Assault

Welcome to Holland

Learning to enjoy your “Holland”

This is a repost of one I wrote back in September 2020. I felt like I should share it again and encourage you to grieve your losses and what “could’ve been”, but also keep moving forward in your healing.

From: September 2020

Do you grieve? I have noticed that I am constantly grieving something. Sometimes it hits me more than others. Like when I attempted a Bible Study last September and was confronted with only women who were mothers. As they were talking about their children I had to get up and leave. I made it to the stairs before I started sobbing and had to sit down. How do you explain that grief to someone else?

I know you have things you grieve. Things you lost or didn’t turn out like you “thought” they should because of your traumatic history. I grieve the loss of the family, children, grandchildren I wanted to have, and more.

My plan: College, get my dream job of teaching and was planning to be married by 25. At least 3 kids by 35, raising a family. Being a wife and mother. I planned out my life. It is what many plan their lives to be.

So, what do you do when it takes a drastic turn because of something you had no control over? We did not choose to endure the trauma we are now working through. Like parents choose when planning to have a baby. In that sense what I’m going to share is slightly different, but I could totally relate to the sentiments. This is not what I planned. I find myself in a landfill of smelly issues and trauma I am battling every single day.

However, as I am battling through I know God is right here with me. I am trying to choose to embrace where I am by working through my trauma. I want to enjoy where I am right now in life despite my circumstances. God, please help me do this as I grieve, and may You be glorified. That is my prayer today for myself and for you. Welcome to Holland, my dear friends.

Welcome to Holland

By: Emily Perl Kingsley

“I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

welcome to holland

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away…because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things… about Holland.”

1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.

I encourage you to direct people to this post when you are struggling to explain your grief. May we all begin to enjoy our “Holland”.

Blessings my friends,


© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh All Rights Reserved.

5 comments on “Welcome to Holland

  1. Welcome to Holland is always one of my favorites to reflect on. It’s applicable so often. 💙


  2. Grateful I came across your blog! I am on a healing journey where I find myself grieving at times or stuck. Love the story and view on how life takes a turn of something different than we expected … yes … I’m in Holland when I thought I was going to Italy and I will enjoy Holland. This resonated with me so much! Bless you and peaceful day to you! 🤍🦋✨


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