“We are now living in another country!” The thought kinda hit me upside the head yesterday. Missy looked at me like I was crazy. I mean, we have been here since January and have been planning this for over a year. But really, we’re living here. We aren’t just vacationing or visiting here for a while. I’ve been on a 16-month deployment before. So what’s the difference?
I was discussing with my teacher today the effects of culture shock and the necessity for us to stay here for 2 years before returning to the United States to visit family and friends. I told her that psychologically we have to undergo the transition of calling Guatemala “home” as opposed to our “home” being in the U.S. These are thing we learned about in missions school and I think are understanding better as we experience throughout this initial time in another country.
Not too long ago, Missy shared on Facebook many pictures of our new home, a true blessing from God (click here to see them!). This weekend, we were talking about the process it will be once we finally move there to discover what will be available to us. We are increasingly excited to have our own kitchen again and be able to cook what we want and eat when we want to eat. This certainly isn’t a complaint about our current living conditions; it is just an interesting observation of how you take for granted certain aspects of your life until you can’t do it.
As we continue the process of looking for used furniture to furnish the house, a car to get there, and pray for God’s direction in how to use it the most effectively for His glory, it is sinking in more and more what we are actually doing. I think I’m finally able to see a little more clearly why our friends and family reacted the way they did when we first told them. To us, it was only a natural progression of events. We had been in prayer and under spiritual counsel about the process and it was only until we were sure that we were hearing from God clearly what He wanted us to do that we announced to the world that we were quitting our jobs, selling all our possessions, and moving to another country to help the people that god had broken our hearts for. Yes, in this day and age where the stock market is unpredictable, crime is on an increase, and our society is growing more and more individualistic, this is strange. Then again, isn’t that what Jesus said we would be?
“The Kingdom of God is upside-down from the ways of this world,” our pastor preaches often. It is a kind reminder that in following God, our actions don’t make sense to much of the world. Sometimes they won’t even make sense to us! I sit and imagine what would be my response to someone in my family or circle of friends who said they were completely taking a different direction in their lives. Whether or not I agreed with the situation, it would still be strange to me and cause curiosity. It’s the type of thing that happens when you stop doing what you’ve been doing your whole life (living for yourself and your own satisfaction) and completely change courses (ask God what He wants for your life).
In case you missed it, I stumbled upon more of this truth of what God calls us to in my bible study last week, click here to check it out: What is God’s Design?