Adjusting Back

I know the last few posts have been closely related to my return to America and adjusting, so I apologize for that. Today, I want to talk about the many things that affect adjusting back to American living and what culture shock really does to your body. I have several friends who have never experienced what I have, or at least not to the same extent, and that’s mostly what this is for.

I would have to say that the biggest and most challenging thing about all of this is you can’t prepare completely for it and you have no control over it. You can’t speed up the adjusting process. You can prepare your heart and mind all you want, but there are so many things you cannot prepare for or expect.

My third week back was extremely difficult. I was exhausted all the time and every day felt as if I could fall apart at any moment, and I did a couple times. I grew frustrated with myself and my circumstances, then I got frustrated that I was even frustrated in the first place. God has blessed me so incredibly much since being back, in ways I not only don’t deserve, but never expected. Because of these blessings, I was feeling that I had no right to be frustrated.

The second most challenging thing is that on the outside, you look perfectly fine, but on the inside everything is a mess.

I have barely been able to have full thoughts over the past couple weeks. I have had to write literally every single thing down that I need to remember, and even then I still may forget. In a previous post, I wrote about staring at orange juice for ten minutes because I was used to two size options not fifty size, brand and pulp options. On the outside, I may have looked like I just was taking my time deciding, but on the inside I was beyond overwhelmed and felt that I could fall apart on the spot (and surprised I didn’t).

The third for me has been the ability to be emotionally present.

I thought that since my heart for Honduras and God has opened some amazing opportunities for me here, that this aspect of adjusting would be simple. I couldn’t be more wrong. I could be in a deep conversation with a friend or having game night and laughing with a few friends, but I don’t feel present. I feel like I’m simply observing, watching my life pass by without having the ability to be there and enjoy it. This is one of those things that has grown increasingly frustrating for me, because I so badly want to be here. It almost makes you so focused inward, that you feel extremely self-centered. I was told that I’ve been pretty quiet since being back, and this is why. It is better some days than others and it something that will slowly wear off, but being patient with that is difficult.

Lastly, it’s all the little things that get you, the ones you don’t even think about!

It’s hearing a father speaking Spanish to his children in Target and completely tuning your friend out and being sucked out of your own world for a couple minutes without realizing it. It’s seeing kids that look like your students and seconds before waving, realizing that it’s an impossibility. It’s paying $60 for food that would only cost you $20 a month ago. And most importantly (haha), it’s paying $5 for a coffee that isn’t as good as the $1 coffee you used to enjoy every day.

I feel like I’m coming into a more stable place. I’m beginning to have a schedule again and real-life is starting to settle in. Maybe I will never be able to truly live as I did before Honduras. Maybe the cost of living will always surprise me. Maybe hearing Spanish will always pull me out of reality. Maybe $5 coffee will always sadden me.

I’m learning, extremely slowly, to be patient with myself. In order to be patient with myself, I have to surround myself with people who are patient with me. I have had such a great support system in returning, of people who encourage me to take my time in adjusting.

I’m learning to rest and to be content in where God has me. Learning all I can while I’m there, and taking the next steps in being more adjusted. It’s exhausting, frustrating and sad at times, but it’s a process that I have to walk through.

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

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Quite Honestly: When Things Go Wrong

{Disclaimer: I sincerely apologize if this comes across as a way for me to vent, that is definitely not my intention. I have began writing these “Quite Honestly” posts to share where I am at spiritually. I’m learning to be quite honest about the things I am working through and the emotions I’m feeling in an attempt to inspire others.}

I have been having several days in a row where things seem to be working against me. It’s as though every thing that could go wrong, does.

Yesterday, among many other frustrations, I had an allergic reaction to an ant bite. I have been bit plenty of times (every day) on my feet by these ants while being here, yet for some reason my body reacted differently. Almost instantly my foot become extremely swollen and painful. Before long it was mostly numb and difficult to walk on.

Today, I’m dealing with the swelling and pain from that, and also beginning to get a sore throat and migraine. I just fought off a sinus cold over the weekend, and I’m dreading having to do this all over again. As some of you may know, I have an extremely weak immune system. I take several vitamins every day to keep from constantly being sick. When I do get sick, I double up on vitamins and drink a ton of fluids, but regardless it takes a toll on my body. All of my energy goes into fighting off whatever illness has found me, therefore I become extremely tired. I hate being sick and having bodily issues all the time. I hate that I have low pain tolerance and when talking about these things come across as though I’m complaining.

I’ve been working on school stuff, trying to get a graduation plan finished. As I’m working on this, I get an e-mail from my admissions advisor, reminding me that I can’t take any more education courses until my background check is finished. I ordered said background check in March, and followed all the required steps, but my payment was never processed. I emailed my advisor, and her attempt to help fell flat and I have gotten nowhere. It is now August, and I have had to do the detailed, mundane process again, in hopes that things have changed and my payment will be processed. Right now, it’s okay that I can’t take education courses, because I have other courses I can take. Yet, it’s extremely frustrating, because that leaves me to having several semesters in a row of only education courses.

These are just a few of the bigger things affecting my life right now; the tip of the iceberg, as some would say.

I haven’t been able to sleep well, I’ve been having a lot of headaches and migraines, my stomach hasn’t been accepting very many foods lately, my neighbor enjoys playing music with really loud bass at night which gives me a headache, my knee that I injured last month has been aching, and the list goes on.

Needless to say, life has been a little frustrating lately. I feel like I’ve been running in circles. Like I’m working hard to accomplish things, yet nothing is actually being accomplished.

God has blessed me with a very patient spirit. I have always been patient when things aren’t working as I hoped they might, or as they should. I have always been patient with people who aren’t able to or willing to get things done when or how they should be done. Things that many people get frustrated or irritated about, tend to go right over my head.

And yet, my patience is beginning to wear thin. I’m beginning to get frustrated about a few things. I also had become a little discouraged by it all. Almost feeling abandoned, in a way. So I began to evaluate the situation and how I was feeling and realized that all of the above things mentioned, are completely out of my control.

I can’t change that my body had an allergic reaction, or that that one ant bit me. I can’t fix my immune system and stop getting sick. I can’t change my pain tolerance. I can’t make this payment become processed and for all those details to work out.

It’s not even about being in control for me, it’s that I can’t fix it. I’m a fixer. I like to fix problems, give advice to those whom ask for it, and work to improve anything that can be improved. And yet, i can’t fix any of it. There is nothing I can do to change what is happening.

The two things I can do about all of this are to pray, and to cling to Christ. In all my frustrations, stress and disappointment, God remains. He knows all that is on my heart and mind. I’m learning to go to Him and just to talk. Let out my frustrations and triumphs of the day.

It’s certainly not easy. I forget to do so more often than I remember. But, I’m finding that each time I walk towards Him, and hand him my thoughts and emotions, He returns them back with peace and strength. Those two things do not make the problems go away, or lessen the affect they have on my life, but they do help me to feel more prepared to handle them and anything else that may come.

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

One Step At A Time

I accidentally read today’s devotion yesterday, and yet I didn’t pick up on this until the second time around. I’m reading through Jesus Calling and the the very last line today is, “I will open up the way before you, one step at a time.

If you read my previous post, you will understand that my heart and dreams for my life are changing. Rather, I’m realizing I stepped ahead of God and made plans, and realized I hadn’t been stopping and checking with Him along the way. So here I am, back at square one.

Last night, I was reminded that I am just like my father. I don’t do well without a plan, of some kind. I’m always very open to spontaneity or changes, but I like to have a rough idea planned. Since my dreams for Honduras have been changing, and I’m really working on following what God has, I’ve had to drop everything I have planned. I have goals, things that I someday wish to accomplish, but I have no plan.

Except, of course, to return to Ohio and take things one step at a time.

This trip has shown me how much I love to teach. It has shown me how difficult discipline is with a language barrier. So other than finishing my Elementary Education degree, and eventually doing a year for my license, I have no plan.

Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” (NIV). I like the NCV even more, which states, “You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you.” Remain calm, be still!

How often do we walk ahead of God, and find ourselves in a rough patch? We walk ahead in the small stuff and the big stuff. Here I had my entire future planned out, and had walked ahead of Him. This is the God who created me, who knows how many hairs are on my head, and yet I can’t trust him with my future? Of course He has it all planned out, and He will show it to me in His perfect timing. I need to be still, to sit in His presence, and to take life step by step. Not all in one giant leap, but each small step.

I may be at square one, once again, but I have this incredible God leading me. This time, I’m going to make sure He’s leading and I’m following. My prayer is that God would make it extremely obvious to me, which step He wants me to take and when.

My prayer is also that anyone that reads this may realize they need to take life step by step, walk with patience and be still!

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie