The sky is grey today, overcast for most of the day, and cold. It’s winter weather again, and maybe that’s how you’re feeling. Maybe you’ve come up against delay after delay in moving overseas, or maybe you’ve arrived, only to discover that you are still in a waiting period before yet, another transition.
Maybe you’ve come up to a block with language learning, or maybe there seems to be way more on your plate than you expected, the list of things continuing to grow as your patiences thins, and then there’s a simple thing like missing the train in the morning, or stepping into a puddle on a cold, rainy day. Suddenly you’re feeling like you want to go home, and words like these come to mind:
I tried, and I can’t go anymore.
I can’t do this whole cross-cultural living.
I’m done waiting. I’ve waited to come, and I’ve waited in line after line to fill out paperwork. I’m done waiting.
I remember one time I had a moment like this in the shampoo isle at the store (yes, the shampoo isle), tears spilling over and guilt hitting me for ever thinking of moving back and quitting because of shampoo.
“It’s just shampoo,” I thought, but in reality, it was more than that. It was that I had tried over and over, multiple shampoo bottles that didn’t work, my hair feeling brittle, my head itchy from the cold weather in a new place, as I was adjusting to the colder temperatures than I was used to.
It was that I had tried finding shampoo at the grocery store, only to find that there was a separate store for shampoo, and that I had to find that location as well, and by that time, I really just wanted the convenience of what I had known in the US to be the same here. I wanted, for just this one instance (or maybe more than once), for things to be the same.
It was more than shampoo. It was about about steadfastness, to keep going when the road seemed like a hard climb, to remind myself of truth that God had called me to this place when thoughts came of moving home over shampoo, and to keep trying when I felt like I had come up with everything I could think of.
Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
It’s winter weather today, and yet, there are also signs of spring, flowers budding on trees, if you look closely.
May He renew within you, a steadfast, unwavering spirit, to stand firm, for the enemy will try anything to kill, steal, and destroy, and he will use discouragement of the spirit to do just that. May we rest in the shadow of the Almighty, and may we see, anew, steadfastness. May it grow within us.
Just like the buds of spring.