Saturday, 14 September 2013

You might be going through culture shock if...

 Well, it has not quite been a month since I have been in the States eating meat, communicating in English and texting "lol" If I could sum it all up in one word it would be, 'crazy',  absolutely crazy and wonderful, Okay, that was three I know. :)  I just want to hold on to every moment of laughter, sunshine and dwell in the absolute glory of holding the hand of my little nephew.

  I have my moments of finding myself outside with my tooth brush and water bottle brushing my teeth or pointing to things with my tongue (Didinga culture thing), or forgetting to flush a toilet or I'll be washing my hands for five minutes at the tap because first of all, it comes out and secondly, it comes out warm and THAT is stinking amazing! I WAS thinking  "I'm readjusting to this American world pretty well!"

But now I'm thinking "Or not"

 I'm having these moments of identity crisis where I'm walking down the street and think, "Who am I now, am I who I was before I left for Africa or am I who I became in Africa, or something all together different?"

Truth be told, since I've been back, I feel like I've been in this huge fog or like I am standing in the ocean with massive waves coming at me in quick pace and all I can do is stand firm because if one takes me down I might drown. I try to fix my mind to think clearly and help all the wonderful people around me to understand Africa, but the truth is, I don't understand Africa right now!

 I have all these weird emotions of duty, pride, anger, love, hurt, joy, anticipation, fear and trust, I find myself trying to fix other people's problems because I don't know how to fix my own (Why do we do that?!).

A couple of days ago I was in the children's isle of the library reading to my Niece "Born to be a Butterfly" for young readers.  Suddenly I just started tearing up, feeling so sad for the poor butterfly going through all that pain and venerability just to become a butterfly!

 Tears where streaming down my face as I read to her about how the butterfly first is born an egg then becomes a caterpillar.  The caterpillar get's so hungry because she needs to grow.  This desire causes her to eat and eat but the more she eats the tighter her skin gets around her and eventually her skin breaks open and she has different skin, this changing skin thing happens four times before she begins to develop this hard skin that protects her inside (the cocoon), and she just hangs out for awhile. (literally)

But inside a change is happening, she finally comes out of her cocoon with her wings all wet and vulnerable there she lingers on a leaf and can not move, she can not fly she must simply wait for the sun to dry her wings and when it does, she flies off with her translucent yellow and red wings in the sunshine.

I felt a little ridiculous crying over a little children's book, but God has put such beautiful illustrations in his creation! Since I've been back from Sudan, I feel a little messed up inside, a little confused and lost but I am confident that this is just a part of the transition God is doing in my heart. Aren't most of us just a little afraid of every stage of pain and glory? Of hunger and waiting? Well, I am, and sometimes I think I most likely will come out a moth rather than a butterfly.  I am so happy God knows what He's doing! That he did indeed create us to be more than we are and He will bring each transition on in it's own time.

So just wait, we may feel like little crawling things now, but one day we will be pretty glorious too.


  1. I can relate, praying for you

    John 14:27 ESV
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

    1. I kind of understand. For me it can be hard at times because I'm not Russian and I'm not "American". Sometimes the only thing that helps is knowing that God understands...that should be enough to get us through!!

  2. so excited you are still blogging Abbi! I felt so foggy coming back from South Sudan, and it was only a month trip. Have you got memory loss? I had that for a few weeks, supposedly reverse culture shock.
    I've been praying for you still! Much love, Fiona

  3. I think I understand. I can relate. I'm feeling some of the same emotions as my return departure day gets closer and closer. I'll be praying for you extra much in the days to come. Thanks for being honest.