Before I left the United States, I went to the eye doctor so he could prescribe me prescription lenses so that I could actually see things at a distance (i.e. Billboards, Road Signs, Speed limit signs, etc.). On Wednesday, September 23, I received a package in the mail with my brand new glasses. I was so excited to finally see the board and the beautiful hills in the distance clearly. Once I put them on I felt joy, I didn’t have to squint. I could experience things like everyone else could. No longer did I have to say, Sorry, I do not know what it says.”
I mention this not only because I want you to rejoice with me, but to tell you that I am starting to see the world more clearly. Every day I am slapped in the face with culture, differences, and uncertainty.
I wake up at 06:30 and it is freezing, absolutely cold. This is something I am not used to living in the hot climate of Florida. I do not want to get out of my not very warm bed and go down stairs to do my quiet time, but I do it. I roll out of bed put on my slippers and head down the stairs and start my day. When you are living in a community, it is hard to find time to myself, so that 30 – 45 minutes in the morning just to breathe my own air and be with God is so nice, it makes living in a cold climate easier.
There is no privacy living together. We cook together, have classes together, clean together, and overall are ALWAYS TOGETHER. The first 2 weeks it was fun. Don’t get me wrong it still is, but it is also hard. With this you learn about yourself and you learn about how you cope with others.
Today, I not only saw the world around me clearly, but I saw relationships clearly as well. The British have a strong sarcastic sense of humor, which isn’t bad, but for someone who is going through some culture shock it can be slightly offensive. I have been offended a few times this week by things that normally wouldn’t hurt me. I even took my British roommate, Hannah, for a walk to address some of my concerns, by the love of Christ she was understanding and receptive of my concerns.
World Horizons as a whole is very diverse in regards to culture, I live with British people, a French guy, a Mexican girl, A Texan, a guy from Alabama, and a Chinese woman. But it is not just that, I have classes with Koreans, Germans, Brazilians, and so many other cultures. I enjoy learning about all of our differences, but it can be overwhelming.
Luckily, though our classes consist of how to integrate in a culture, and today we discussed culture shock. I thought I was doing good until I looked at the range and realized that I was in the DISTRESS stage, which is when little things upset me or make me cry, that noting is like my home and makes me miss it that much more.
These challenges are making me to turn to God as my comfort and strengthen me during these endeavors without my comforts of home.
I miss my home, my family, my friends, my memories, etc.
Then again, I adore this place, these people, this community, these eye opening lessons, these experiences that are just full of Gods love, and the sun in between the rain.
Continue to keep me in your prayers