When you decide to move to another land, another culture, another language you change. Your life becomes about uncertainty, flexibility, and faith. You get to experience new challenges, broaden your horizons, become even more amazed at God's creation, learn things about yourself you never knew existed. You give up your comfort zones and realize how big yet how small the world is.
... and I think everyone should experience it.
I think ten things happen when a person spends a significant amount of time in a foreign field.
10. You learn to be patient, and to give up pride to ask for help.
Something that should be so easy is now hard. During the moments of frustration, you realize it is better to laugh about it than get angry. Also, asking for help is not a sign of weakness but something that should be cherished.
9. There is no normal.
As soon as you enter a new place you realize your definition of normal is nothing more than what is culturally acceptable. You begin to learn new ways of doing things and slowly those ways become your new normal. You embrace a new normal.
8. You learn to say goodbye.
You get to know lots of amazing people and with the technology, you get to stay friends with most of them for a very long time. But, you realize they are only in your presence for a very short time. You learn to let go.
7. You no longer speak one language.
You speak two. You randomly put a word from the other language in a sentence, forget sayings in your original language. You begin thinking and dreaming in two languages.
6. Your not courageous but your not a coward either.
People tell you that you have courage... but you don't feel like it. Sometimes you are scared and uncomfortable but whatever comes your way, you deal with it (even though sometimes its not graceful).
5. There aren't the right words...
to accurately convey the experiences, the stories, the people, the places that you have been. But, you try. And you also don't want to overwhelm people with stories of the "other country".
4. Adrenalin becomes a part of your daily life.
No longer is there a thing called-- routine. Even three years later there is still new experiences, new people, new places, new challenges- a whole lot of new.
3. Nostalgia can strike at anytime.
A sound, a smell, a taste... can make you homesick. You miss things you never thought you would miss and don't miss things you thought you would. You would give anything for a moment of it, or someone who understands.
2. You Change.
One day you realize you are a lot different from when you started the journey. All of the certainties, all of your fears, all of your dreams.... they have changed, for the better. You have had your ups and downs, some scars--- but you lived, you learned, you became a stronger person. A person that can handle a whole lot of things.
1. You gain a whole bunch of faith.
You leave your comfort zone you get to trust God more than ever- with finances, safety, the right words in a second language etc. But, you also get to watch God work in some extra ordinary ways and see his plan unfold before your eyes. God breaks your heart for the lost, the broken, the hurting... and gives you the strength to share His love.