Finally! Classes on culture!
That was the first thought most of us had today when we entered class. However, I’m beginning to realize that that’s not really true. A good chunk of learning about culture is learning about yourself. You have your own culture and if you don’t understand how YOU function, you cannot adapt to how anybody else functions. Interesting, huh? Just a “Lisa side-note.”
Anywho – we really did dive right into some real heart issues this morning. I thought for sure I was the only emotional one, so I strived my hardest to not burst into tears during this session. I found out later that I was not the only one with this difficulty – which made me feel so much better! I’m still glad I didn’t burst out crying, but at least I know I may not have been alone if I had started. 🙂
We talked about the entire transition process this morning. We discussed how “leaving” begins at least six months before you get on the plane and continues until you “unpack your mind” as much as a year later in your new home (which also applies heavily to re-entry). We both found this class to be so realistic. I finally feel normal! Brian and I have really struggled lately with not having very many people who truly, truly know what we’re going through. It’s nice to hear that we’re normal; what we’re feeling is normal; what we should expect down the road; and how to handle all of this.
I remember telling Brian when we sold our house that it felt like someone very close to me had died. Not that the house had died – just the fact that we were leaving and everything was so different. I seriously went through a lot of the same symptoms of grief that I went through when my grandmother died a few years ago. I thought that was odd – I mean, it’s just a thing or a place or a cat, right? Wrong. We were told today that grief is a natural part of the process and NOT grieving is worse than just letting it out. We are to EXPECT some, if not all, of the same emotions that come with grieving the loss of a person. We are leaving – things are ending – things that were a huge part of our lives. We had to spend time in groups listing things that are ending, things that are beginning, what will be different, and what will be the same. It was nice to hear the same things listed from other people. FINALLY! People who understand and have been there and are going through it now, too! We are not the only ones that have sold a house. We are not the only ones that feel like we’re losing friends. And it’s okay to talk about it. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to grieve.
It’s not okay to stay there. I think that’s where the balance comes in. We are to say actual goodbyes and move on. Literally. When we get to a new place, yes, we are going to miss what we’ve left behind. But, we need to look for the good in where we’ll be. We need to adapt to the life around us and move on. Maybe it will take a year, but at least it will be a year of consciously moving toward the goal, not just living through the motions of day to day life.
I’m probably rambling to a lot of you, but this is how I process, so bear with me. 🙂 This class today was just so helpful. Brian and I both feel like there are things we need to seriously process, consider, and pray about. We finally have an idea of what is actually happening and how to get a handle on it. It’ll be okay. We are normal. And above all, God never changes. Everything else, everyone else may change. God will not change. God is my constant. If He was not constant, I would not be moving forward.
In closing, I wanted to share with you the verses that we’re memorizing as a group in the next month. We read it together every morning and it feels like our montra – our motto – our goals. I get overcome with emotion every time I read these verses anymore. This is our life right now and what we’re heading out to do. The first verse talks about doing this ministry by God’s mercy and they explained it that we don’t deserve to do this! But, God has given us this ministry through His mercy (giving us what we don’t deserve in place of something we do deserve). That’s why I never feel worthy of this calling! I’m NOT! But, God, in His mercy, has given us this mission – THEREFORE – we will not lose heart. Enjoy this passage.
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.