Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reverse Culture Shock

It has been going on since I returned from my mission trip to Guatemala in October of last year.  I just can't seem to find the same passion for work that I had before I went on the trip.  There are a lot of things that really just don't matter as much in the grand scheme of things anymore.  Someone recently told me this was more clearly defined as Reverse Culture Shock.  It makes sense.  I spent so much time preparing myself for how I would feel in a new culture for the 1 week I traveled to Guatemala.  I wanted to be open to the experience, God allowed that.  However; I didn't spend any time leading up to the trip or even during the trip trying to anticipate what it would be like to come back to a world where not much had changed.

Sounds sad and depressing...right?

Wrong.  As a matter of fact, I am happier than I ever have been.  Burdens have been lifted that I didn't even know existed in the first place.  I have been able to devote more time to living in the moment.  I would like to think that I anticipate less and enjoy every minute a little bit more.  I have made progress on cleaning my house, dedicating time to crafting and exercise and spending more time with my husband and kids (not in that order :)) and each minute counts for so much more than it used to.  I do enjoy my job, but it has been put in a different priority...the means to an end, not the end itself.  (another whole post in itself)

Sure it is stressful at times when I look ahead (or back) and realize what is coming (or what I missed), but I just try really hard to look to God with joy and thanksgiving for the opportunities that I have.  It all comes down to perspective.  I could choose the cynical perspective and see everything as "out of place" in my daily life, or I can choose to accept that as long as I continue to pray to God to show me his will and respond to his urgings I will be amazed at the blessings that come.

My main struggle is that I try to "fit in"...My wallpaper on my desktop at work has a saying "Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't have to do what everyone else is doing."  I love this.  Most of my frets are about trying to figure out what everyone else is doing so that I can fit in, so that I can feel like I have made a contribution, so I feel like my idea isn't dumb...I need to keep reading my desktop and remembering that I am only 1 part of the Body of Christ.  As I heard from Joyce Meyer this morning, (paraphrased)...some of us are made to be noses and some of us are made to be armpits...we all belong to the body, but sometimes we shouldn't get to close...we serve different purposes and need to rely on each other from time to time and it is critical that we work as one body.

I do slip up, I am not perfect, I do say things that I don't mean, I do take things out of context, I do fret about things out of my control, but I am a child of God and in Him I am made whole.  Through Him, I will be shown His Will for my life...God grant me the courage to hear the call and live it.

Thanks be to God!

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1 comment:

Eternal Lizdom said...

Something that crossed my mind when reading the last paragraphs... You shouldn't worry about fitting in- you already are a perfect fit with God. When you are living in the path Christ has laid for you, you are fitting in exactly where you should be and God will place the people along that path that fit in with you when the time is right.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that's why you and I have become such good friends!