alright peeps, it’s about to get real up in here.
i know that i have vaguely discussed my fears about communicating in brazil via previous posts; those still exist, but i don’t really feel like they’re the biggest thing i should be worrying about because a lot of that issue can be resolved by swallowing my pride and just working hard.
what i’m really worried about isn’t really even anything i can prepare for i don’t think. right now i’m really just worried about april, when i’ll be coming home. i know that it’s going to be a really trying and painful time for me both because i’ll be leaving brazil and because i’ll be coming home. here’s the thing, i’m not going just to go. i’m going to see God in a new way, to experience Him in a way i haven’t yet, to see Him move, to be changed. you can’t ask God to move and leave unchanged. each time you meet Him, if you really meet with Him, you leave changed, so i know that months in another country praying and seeking to be changed is going to change me.
i also know from experience that it’s very easy to engage in an “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” mindset. each time i come home from working camp all summer there’s a period of time that i spend feeling lost and uncertain and unstable to be perfectly real with you. there’s this thing where you have to realize that the world didn’t stop while you were gone, and the people there didn’t see the things you saw or feel the things you felt, and they’re not going to understand who you are or what’s happening to you. that’s been hard for me to cope with and learn from just being gone for 2 and a half months with lots of communication and knowledge of what’s happening; i’m really afraid of what it’s going to look like when i come home from another country after 4 months.
moving on, people always talk about culture shock going into a foreign country, but i really feel like it always hits me the hardest when i come back into the u.s. to me, other cultures (i’ve mostly been in latin cultures, but even in Macedonia) are more accepting of outsiders than americans are of one another. and one of the most challenging things i’ve been struggling with in the past year is community among believers–why we, as the redeemed do not love one another and care for one another as we should, and why it’s so hard for people who are supposed to possess the bonds of Christ to be intentional with one another without letting shame and guilt and pride get in the way. i’m not saying i’m on this higher level of understanding and perfection and other people need to get with it–i struggle because that’s my propensity too–but i have noticed that the experiences God has been allowing me in the past few years have served to highlight the issue, not relieve my hurt over it (or my participation in it).
i guess what i’m trying to say is that i’m already finding the need to fight the fears and feelings my pride and insecurity stir within me and i’m not even there yet. i know me and i know the sins that my flesh adores, and i am wholeheartedly dreading finding out in what ways it’s going to rear its ugly head. i’m weak, and it’s terrifying.