When I was down in Palmer Lake, Colorado two years ago, doing my missions training, our teachers did a skit about the process of culture shock and acclimation. I watched and understood that there is a period of time where you just want to go home and never return even though you love the country that you are in. You cannot find anything good in the country in which you live. You get critical and everywhere else seems better. I have been looking back over the past few months, trying to put a finger on the emotions and thoughts which have been going through my head. I am seeing this stage of homesickness and wanting to give it all up. This is a time when I must depend on ONE whom I am here for. He is my all in all, even though I long to be home in Colorado. It is time to cowboy-up!
I love living here in Poland. It is a land full of people who love and long for Truth. Many just do not realize what or Whom they seek. There are many challenges through living here and walking day by day with my Lord.
I am teaching an English speaking Bible study and we are reading through Colossians. Last week's study hit me between the eyes. I have always acknowledged that Jesus understands my homesickness and my culture shock, but it was all intellectual. Last week, it hit me straight to the heart. I "saw" how much He gave up to come to a culture which lives religiously, yet does not truly understand the love and grace that He offers. He understands, He feels, He is Grace and Mercy because of what He lived and suffered through. Hebrews 5:14-16 came to mind this last week and I am walking the the steps of my Lord and Master.
One of my teammates spoke at our last team meeting a few weeks ago and she said that she is learning that she must live fully where ever she is. That resonated with me. I have been living these past few months trying to be in both places. It is not that it is bad to miss home. I do, but when it conflicts with living a full life where you are, then there is a problem. I have caught my thoughts living back home. Wondering how the youth ministry is going. How my friends are doing. What is happening day to do in my family's lives. How my new niece or nephew is doing.
The stage where I am right now is about at the same place in that skit at the training center.
I am coming up on my 2 year milestone in January and Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming up and I will be here. (I was in Denver last year.) Will I celebrate fully here? I want to! (Mom, you will laugh.) I am going to deck my place out as much as I can afford for Christmas this year! I am going to celebrate the birth of Jesus!
It is time to cowboy-up. To depend more and more on my Lord and Savior. To fully live here in Poland. To jump into my language even more than what I have been doing. God has been faithful! He has met needs beyond my expectations! He has given me courage to go and do things on my own without anyone to translate (I even translated for a English speaker with a Polish woman this last Sunday!) and to feel okay when I mess up. I have been laughing at myself a lot lately! Lots of language laughs!
God is Good! He is my Refuge and my Peace!