How a Journey of 8,000 Miles Changed Me, part 2



Make sure to check out part 1 here!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Want to make friends in a new country?  Be prepared.  This isn't always easy.  Sometimes you meet someone on the train and instantly, you're buddies.  Sometimes you try and try and nothing happens.  Many things factor in - you're a foreigner, you're different, your first language isn't the same as everyone else around you.  Not only all that but your perspective, worldview, and beliefs are almost guaranteed to be different.   Then there's the fact that you've been shaped by your own culture all these years, so yeah, cultural differences are big as well.

All this...and I still live abroad.  Better yet, I choose this life!  Sure, there's been plenty of disappointments, confusions, misunderstandings, letdowns, frustrations and bad days.  But Jesus uses all of those - and more - to mold me more like Himself.  It's in that day getting lost all morning or those 60 minutes spent trying to communicate with the clerk about what's inside your package that often teaches you the most.  These are the lessons of a girl living across the ocean, on the other side of where she grew up, and honestly, they are some of her favorites now.  Not because they were necessarily fun but because in all these, something amazing happens - Jesus shows up.

And when Jesus shows up, friends, that when I need to step back and let Him do what He does best - creating miracles.

So yes, in a way, I choose the tears, the extra difficulties, the challenges.  I choose to do hard things because I know that God is working and active in them.

But wait - I also choose the little dirty hands gripping mine, the look on the teen's face when I say I'll help, the opportunity to focus on the Gospel each day and live it out in a place where many still have not heard.  I choose to live like I need Jesus, because deep down I've acted like I don't and that's never worked and there's never been peace as there is now.  So on those days when it seems like everything is harder, takes longer and is more frustrating than if I simply still lived in my hometown in the US, I look up and let Jesus reel my focus in to where it's supposed to be - squarely and lovingly on Him.

After all, it's all about Him.

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