Happy 10 months to me! Today marks 10 months since I left the States. So much has happened and I’ve been thinking back over this time today. I’m so thankful for this year, even if it hasn’t been what I expected. And here are some nuggets of wisdom for you from my past 10 months…
Things I’ve learned:
The more I learn, the more I realize that I’ve got so much to learn.
Don’t say ‘yes’ in Spanish unless you absolutely know what you are saying ‘yes’ to… it can lead to awkward situations.
Suffering will come. It’s not ‘if’… it’s ‘when’. But it will never in the way you expected it.
When the suffering comes, god will still be there. In fact, he’ll seem larger and nearer in those moments. And while you won’t look back with fond memories on the suffering, you will remember you closeness with God and appreciate his overwhelming presence and how it lingers with you long after the dust and tears have settled.
You’ll grow through the suffering and understand the ‘weakness’ that Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 and so many other verses of scripture in ways that you couldn’t have otherwise known without going through suffering and trials. (see also Isaiah 30:15, 18; Isaiah 30:20-21; 1 Peter 3:12-16; Romans 14:8; John 12:24-26; Philippians 3:7-10; James 1:2-6; Lamentations 3:22-24; Psalm 31:24; Psalm 34:18; and so many others!)
New friends will come from places you never expected. And the people who drop out of your life will be the ones you least expected to do so.
As your language skills grow in your new language, you may see your proficiency in your first language decline (how ironic).
You will realize what a real miracle it is that people can actually learn to speak, live, communicate, and thrive in a second language. The fact that God can wire (or in some cases rewire) the brain to adapt to a completely new form of communication is amazing. It is nothing short of intervention by the Holy Spirit. (seriously)
Awkwardness will become your friend. You just won’t care what other people think, especially when you can’t understand what they’re saying!
God’s in control. You are not. And he’ll remind you of that in new and surprising ways to help the message sink in.
Making a phone call all by yourself without someone’s help or a dictionary will be a victory tantamount to winning the lottery!
Grocery shopping and driving will make you feel like you’re living out an Indiana Jones movie… with a little bit out Nacho Libre thrown in too.
It will feel weird to go ‘home’ to the US. Is that home? Is this home? Is Honduras home? What defines ‘home’ now?
You’ll get more excited to eat at McDonald’s than you really should… but deep down you don’t care… just give me that double cheeseburger and those glorious American fries!
Consistent cell service, Wi-Fi, and stable electricity will go from a priority to something that you can deal with. All the better if you’re able to get a warm shower!
Coffee is still coffee but it tastes better when you live where it’s grown!
Earthquakes can be fun. Trust me, I’m a geologist.
Volcanoes become part of the daily weather report.
Your definition of what is ‘clean’ and what is ‘dirty’ will drastically change.
You’ll probably become much more aware of how your digestive system functions. And you’ll definitely be gassier than you were in the states… just saying. (And if gas is the only thing you have then count yourself lucky!)
Having clean drinking water and ‘basic’ bathroom plumbing will remind you how much more you have than your neighbor, most of the village you live in, and the majority of the world for that matter.
You’ll never stop being amazed and humbled by how generous and compassionate people can be.