I’ve Had My ‘Oh, Snap!’ Moment About Moving to Japan

I have recently got back from a trip to Norway. I’ve spent a week out there, enjoying the fresh air, learning how to cross-country ski, and generally getting myself relaxed and refreshed before my final week of departure prep for Japan.

There are many things that I’ve learnt during this week, but I won’t bore you with the details. However, one of the main things that has happened I will bore you with:

I’ve had my ‘Oh, Snap!’ moment about Japan.

You know what I mean by an ‘Oh, Snap!’ moment, right? When reality suddenly becomes . . . well . . . real. If you picture the “Kevin!” scene from Home Alone (and don’t even joke about not having seen that classic) you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Except it isn’t that I left the fact that I’m moving to Japan home alone, it’s more that the idea hadn’t sunk in. I guess maybe the way I’m feeling is more similar to how folk feel the day before their wedding or before their first child is born. Or when you look up and realise there’s only 10 minutes left of an exam.

school girl looks up during an exam

Photo courtesy of OMF International

The question that I’ve been most asked these last few weeks when talking about my impending move to Japan has been, “How are you feeling?” I’ve tried to give an answer, but for the most part the answer has been, “I’m not really.”

See it just hasn’t felt real—my moving to Japan. It’s felt kind of distant. I haven’t really felt the emotions that I know I will feel when I leave. I’m a bit like that. Normally the penny doesn’t drop until the very last second. So I’d presumed the same would be true for Japan—that I’d be really calm until I’m sat on the plane and it starts to pull onto the runway.

Turns out I was wrong. As I’ve dawdled on in blissful ignorance, my ‘Oh, Snap!’ moment has been stealthily tracking nearer, like a relentless ninja assassin. And in Norway is where he found me.

I’m not sure if it was because we’d been discussing other ‘Oh, Snap!’ moments from our life journeys, or whether it was because I had a week free from distractions to let my emotions catch up with me. Maybe it was just that I entered the less-than-2-weeks phrase. Or that I was saying goodbye to another really close friend. Possibly I just ate too much fish.

As you can tell, I don’t have much profound to say at this juncture. Partly because I’m still slightly overwhelmed by the fact that I have less than 10 days before I leave. So, instead I’ll leave it to you . . .

Tell me about your ‘Oh, Snap!’ moments: what, when, where, why, how?

And most importantly (at least for me): how did you handle it?


3 thoughts on “I’ve Had My ‘Oh, Snap!’ Moment About Moving to Japan

  1. Gwen

    Thanks for sharing Levi – keep them coming! Praying for you in this final run up.

    I’m not sure it’s sunk in that I’m leaving college in just over 2 month’s time. And I keep thinking my new job is something I just imagined, cause I’m such a dreamer that I’ve spent the last 4 years imagining where I’ll end up. Not quite sure how it happened that I actually know now! Not sure when my “Oh Snap” moment comes, but hopefully like you it will be at a time when I have time to process it!

    Dunno about you though, but the sheer excitement of finally going to serve God in the way you’ve been training for all those years is just amazing. Terrifying. But amazing.


  2. Cathryn

    I think about when we left the UK for California – it was so stressful and so painful. So I’d say just expect the next two weeks to be both stressful and painful and then the minute you get on that plane, you refuse to be sad any more and you get FREAKING EXCITED about all the wonderful new opportunities. Hang in there, it’s Easter so it’s all good.


  3. Wendy

    Hmmm, not sure. I do clearly remember seeing my husband cry (rare event) when we finally got clearance to go to Japan. I also cried when I first saw Japan from the air, then it seemed incredibly real. But I’m sure these things come in stages too, the point when you realise you can say, “I’m going to be there THIS YEAR”, or “THIS MONTH”. But Cathryn is right, I personally can’t wait to get on the plane, be past all the tricky goodbyes and decisions about what to pack or not pack etc. Once you’re there, life seems very uncluttered and wonderful.

    How to handle it? Enjoy the moment. Thank God for bringing you thus far. Recognise that a big change like this comes with a vast range of emotions, that’s just part of the deal.



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