I Don’t Like Uncomfortable

I accidentally clicked a software update today.

I wasn’t ready for it.

I like the old software. I found out how to use it, and all the sudden, here I was again, trying to figure out something new.

It also had an element of surprise, sleepy eyes this morning which led to accidentally clicking a button, not able to go back or hit a “stop update” button.

I wasn’t ready for it.

:::

Sitting at a table in a restaurant in Prague, I think about the past week, the me that I am at this moment, the fogginess from trying to go to the market that morning, the language barriers, the cold, and I want to go back.

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For a brief moment, I want to go back to the person that I was, the person that I was sitting on the plane coming over, the person who knew which isle to go for the shampoo, or toothpaste for that matter, but then I realize, I can’t go back. There isn’t a “go back” button.

Here I am again, trying to figure out something new, and I’m caught with an element of surprise.

I don’t feel ready for it. I’m molding into someone new, and the old skin just doesn’t fit anymore, the ways of doing things in normal, day-to-day life are needing reconfiguring and it creates a feeling of uncomfortable.

I don’t feel ready. I don’t like the uncomfortable.

:::

It’s foggy on the way to work today. I can only see what’s right ahead of me. There’s a veil of mystery and unknown, and I used to be uncomfortable in the fog, because I was afraid of what’s up ahead. But I’m not anymore.

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There were many moments that I wanted to hit a “go back” button, but there’s no going back–only forward. I learned to sit with the uncomfortable.

Sometimes, the only way forward, is through the fog, the fog that we weren’t expecting. There’s an element of surprise, like something being pulled out from under. We feel wobbly, teeter-tottering between jumping all in, cannon ball style, and wanting to stand on the edge of the pool and enjoy what it was like before getting wet.

There’s an element of the unknown, of not knowing the road ahead, of navigating language learning and cultural learning, and there’s no easy, mapped out, step-by-step-for-each-moment manual.

And in the midst of it all, we are invited to just be, be here, sitting in the uncomfortable, be present, and fix our eyes not on our surroundings, but on Jesus, the One who knows, who sees, and the One who is our very light.

And so we walk the road, through the fog, the narrow road that leads to life, and we know that we are not alone. Like a Shepherd, our Father takes us and holds us, close to his heart. He leads us along paths we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves, and there is surrender and acceptance, and in the midst of it all, a joy that’s hard to even put into words.

His light shines in our hearts, and we hold our gaze on the Light itself, the True light, and we take one more step, into the wild unknown.

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We anchor our souls with hope, and we believe, we trust the One who is guiding us along this road, that He has plans to prosper and not to harm. We take one more step and then one more, and before we know it, the fog lifts, and we are on the other side, looking back at the places we came from with gratitude.

:::

I open up the new software.

Click. Wrong button. Try again.

Maybe one day it will get easier but today, it’s not easier. And for right now, I’m learning to be okay with the uncomfortable. Because I know, there’s something beautiful at the end of this. It’s not just about the software anymore. It’s this journey with Jesus who takes broken things and makes them beautiful. I know Him, the Life-Giver.

A Cup Overflowing

I remember sitting with a friend over coffee in Prague, and how she looked into the cup she was holding, and said, “We each have our cup.”

“We each have our cup.”

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I was in the midst of moving, feeling a little scattered, as well as preparing to move back to the U.S., and the reminder was just what I needed that day.

“We each have our cup.”

Everything in your life is purposeful.

Because here’s the thing–we don’t choose the path we walk on. God chooses it for us. And we can trust that the One who already knows are unknowns, who knows the plans He has for us, which are plans to prosper, is the same God who is with us in this very moment, in the moments where we wonder what God is up to. We can rest in the promises that God says in His word, and rely, not on our understanding, not on our feelings or emotions, which can easily change, but on Him who does not change, who is Constant, and who is perfect in knowledge, and in truth.

“We each have our cup.”

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A cup overflowing with the richness of Him, the One who fills all things in every way. A cup of blessing, for the very presence of God is with us and for us, a God who delights in us as His children and delights to give us good gifts, a God who fashioned and formed each of us, and is walking with us.

May our happiness and joy not come from our circumstances, on the outer, but inner, a steadfast assurance and hope in the Lord that anchors the soul, firm and unmoved.

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“We each have our cup.”

Psalm 16 continues by saying, “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.”

We can find our rest in the One who is Glorious, the True Light, the Light of the world who came into the world to give us life. We can trust the Greatest of loves, this Perfect Love that gave up everything for us, that we might be His Beloved.

May you know that you are loved fiercely, and that the Lord is fighting for you, keeping you strong in Him. May you look to the Shepherd, as he leads the way, and may your cup overflow.

Language Learning

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I’ve been in the process of learning the piano again, after stopping as a child, and now as an adult, picking it back up again.

I’m realizing now, how many correlations there are to learning a new language. In a way, this is my language learning. Here are a few things I’m learning along the way.

  1. Practice and Patience I talked with a piano teacher this summer, and she said to practice 30 minutes a day, instead of several hours in one block of time. It’s helpful to spread it out. Spread out your language learning time, but be consistent! It’s slow work, but there is progress, even when you don’t see it. Give yourself the patience that you would give someone else. It’s a lot of work learning a new language! Your brain is working hard, and it takes time.
  2. Set Goals: Set a goal for yourself. “By x amount of months, I want to be this fluent in the language.” Take steps toward that goal, because each of those steps adds up, and remember, that just like children don’t walk in a day, so we aren’t going to be fluent in a day. That’s okay! Set a goal and work towards it.
  3. Reflect: Take some time to reflect on how far you have come. Remember when you first landed and didn’t know a single word in the language? Spend a day reflecting on where you have come from, so that you are able to see the progress. And just like piano, sometimes the teacher, and others, can see your progress more than you can.
  4. Be realistic and Be Yourself: I find myself comparing to others. Whether that’s piano learning or language learning, I think it’s easy to compare. It’s easy to compare to your spouse, a friend, a roommate, or teammate. Be yourself. Be you, and celebrate with others their progress, as they celebrate with you your progress. If others have begun the language process before you, be realistic in setting goals and let go of the comparison game(I’m very much speaking to myself as I write these words). May we find beauty in celebrating with others instead of comparing to others.
  5. Enjoy the journey: It’s as much about the journey as the end result. Enjoy the journey, knowing that each step of the way of needed. Language learning is a slow process, much like climbing a mountain. Enjoy the journey of the climb, and know that one day, the words will flow, even if right now they feel jumbled.

I pray that this season of language learning would be fruitful, that you would continue to press onward, taking one more step, and then one more. And Bon Voyage or, “Good Journey!”