Have you ever had times in life when you encountered a similar situation as before, but this time you knew how to respond? Wait, I don’t mean déjà vu. I mean the key being that it was majorly different than the previous experience. Indeed, this is what has happened at least a few times recently. I have found myself walking away from a conversation or dilemma saying to myself… “I’ve been through this before.”
Working at a school in China before was much harder those first two years. I saw so many things I thought were wrong. There were procedures and people I wanted to change, and I also thought more and more that I wouldn’t end up well professionally. What has not been the same this year though has been simply me.
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I’ve been pondering this the last few days, and it won’t leave my mind. (Thank you, Father.) The time back in the US last year was huge, crucial, mind-blowing for me. I have been on a few short-term trips to other countries to serve, teach, whatever the mission was. But long-term living is definitely not the same. I don’t mean this in a negative way for short- or long-termers. Short-term trips can be very beneficial and eye-opening while long-term scenarios bring relationships, fruit, and life. Therefore, I had never received any training for living overseas with other foreigners in an environment totally of another culture. This truth hit me after unknowingly self-examining myself last year and realizing almost all of the reasons I wanted to leave were selfish ones.
When I discovered that I was the source of all this tension built up inside and in the atmosphere, it helped in order to offer it up to the One who would care and listen to anyone seeking a Savior. There are still times, here and there, that I find myself mentally revisiting where I used to be. Thankfully, I am saved, and thus, I can rely on Him to not just save me once but daily. The following are a few verses that have assisted me as of recent. (underlining mine)
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. *Proverbs 4:26-27
Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it. *Proverbs 5:5-6
For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. *Proverbs 5:21-23
Am I now 100% ready to take on the field of work, family, friends, etc. here in China? No, never. That’s the beauty of it. None of this life is to be lived on our own. And for the professional part of things, I’ve joined some organizations and blogs so that I can grow. I was just too blind by my pride before to see these were possible.
*Proverbs just do something to the mind, and when connected, to the heart as well.