While planning on what to write this week, I felt inspired to share a little about adjusting to a new country and culture. It is never easy to adjust to change! I personally have heard one statement that states, “Human beings are simply creatures of habit… they hate change”. This may be true for many of us but there are often times we’re put into a position where we don’t feel comfortable, especially missions.
Lately, I haven’t been traveling a lot. We’ve stayed in Bucharest over the winter season, which has been wonderful. Since living in a foreign country, I can say with confidence that I’ve been in many situations that are uncomfortable! From eating strange food (eat now and ask later), being in a room where you don’t understand a word anyone is saying, teaching Sunday school kids who know more of the language than you do, or finding out that there are not any indoor bathrooms but just holes in the ground outside. Talk about uncomfortable! And indeed the list can go on!
No matter what country you visit or language they speak, people are different! We took a trip to the Republic of Moldova, a country that also speaks Romanian, and I couldn’t communicate! The way words were said, along with cultural influences, put me in an uncomfortable position. (I’ll write about that trip soon!)
You’re just growing!
One day, I was reading an article about the lobster and I found the story very intriguing. I learned that lobsters have to constantly change their shell so that they can grow. Why is this important? Well, the article stated, when a lobster feels that it is under pressure it will remove its shell, leaving it vulnerable and exposed in order to grow a bigger shell. Just like a lobster, we can find ourselves in situations where we feel exposed and vulnerable. But don’t worry, you’re just growing!
I thank God for every ‘uncomfortable’ moment and being able to grow from it. I’ve learned to love the uniqueness of cultures. In those moments of feeling isolated, all we can do is be motivated to learn from them.
Just as the lobster feels the pressure, he knows that this is a time of growth. Don’t get discouraged under the pressure but simply use it as motivation. In a lobster’s lifetime, he may feel this discomfort up to 25 times! We find that in our lives, there will be many times we feel uncomfortable, after all we don’t like change.
So today, I want to be a lobster! Remember, always embrace the pressure. You’re just growing!