Be still my heart and know that you are God alone
Stop thinking so much – and just let go.
Be still my soul and rest, humbly I confess
In my weakness, Your strength is perfect.
Days like today are hard to wrap my mind around.
Days where everything seems difficult and all I want is to lay on the beach or have a cup of real coffee or hang out with my mom and the minutes keep ticking and the deadlines are still looming and things like “peace” and “rest” sound like such foreign concepts and I struggle to slow my mind and catch my breath and nothing is working and my heart beats faster and I’m still overwhelmed and the only thing I can do well is to keep typing this ridiculous run on sentence.
The first phase of culture shock is the “honeymoon phase” where everything about a culture is fascinating and exhilarating and you can’t imagine that you’ve ever been content anywhere else.
The second stage of culture shock is literally called the “everything is awful phase.”
Any guesses as to which stage I’m in right now?
Name any area of life and I could probably find a way to complain about it in this moment:
-All my clothes are in the dirty laundry and all I want to do is wear a pair of jean shorts that I left at home.
-I’m annoyed that the pastries fed to me everyday at 10:30 and 4 are going to my hips.
-The bug bites are really getting old.
-I want to drive SO BAD, but even if I had access to a car they drive on the left side of the road here and I’d be bound to revert to my instincts and get in a car wreck.
-I’m tired of feeling like an obnoxious American everywhere I go.
-Humidity is literally from the devil.
-And I would seriously kill for Starbucks right now.
I hope you can appreciate the sarcasm in my tone. I feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity – I absolutely love South Africa and I wouldn’t want to return to the U.S. if I had the choice right now. However, the fight to be content and present and fully invested is becoming more real every day.
It would be so easy to download the countdown app. To eagerly tick off the remaining two weeks of class, or rush through the next six weeks until Cape Town is at my fingertips.
But if I live with that kind of mindset I will blink a few times and I’ll be drinking that much wanted cup of coffee with my wonderful mother and my time in Africa will be over and I’ll have missed it.
In a very difficult season of her life, my incredibly wise mentor once told me she refused to lay down and quit because she didn’t want to miss what God had for her in that season. Her circumstances made it permissible and even logical to give up. But she didn’t.
She didn’t want to miss the point.
I don’t want to miss the point.
My circumstances are not catastrophic and I’ve seen much darker days, but my fickle emotions are real and they are keeping me from the joy and contentment and peace that I know Jesus has called me to.
This isn’t an eloquent blog post with some super insightful message or meaning.
This is just my way of saying that I’m annoyed and weak and ready for a break.
This is my way of declaring that I refuse to be anything but present.
This is my way of surrendering something simple to my Creator.
I pray that today you can find joy in whatever circumstance you find yourself. I pray that peace that passes all understanding would rule in your heart and mind.
I pray that you wouldn’t miss the point.