My divinely loved friends, since you are resident aliens and foreigners in this world… 1 Peter 2:11 (TPT)
We have been living in Krakow for 6 weeks and it has been quite the adventure. I look around and there are trees (and a forest!), a castle (I get to see almost everyday going to school or work), this thing called rain that happens frequently, cooler temperatures, beautiful old buildings, and a huge river…so that’s been amazing and obviously I’m not in Abilene anymore. It’s been so good and I frequently stop, look around and think to myself “I live here…I really live here, this is home?!?” However, the last week or so has not been easy if I’m honest…I’ve cried several times and have been frustrated trying to figure out what’s going on. I was processing my emotions with Josiah a few nights ago as I have just felt this sadness recently that I was having difficulty pinpointing. I have felt out of place here, like I don’t belong. I can’t speak the language to communicate with people on the buses or trams, some people in the office at KDM, some of the baristas working at Spotkawie or the guests, the cashiers at the grocery store, etc. I can’t read simple messages on a door of a business that tells you to go to the next door to enter, important messages on the gate in your neighborhood, or what items are in the grocery store. Living here just feels exhausting (at least 80% of my daily life feels like it is not like it used to be). I know it’s unrealistic to think we would be fluent in Polish after only 4 weeks of intensive language school, and I didn’t have that expectation on myself, but I want to have the feeling of being “at home” here. After all, God told me He wanted us to call this place “home.”
In discussing this with Josiah, he used this phrase above in 1 Peter 2:11 with me to discuss how believers in the Bible were called aliens in a foreign land, because they were called to live different lives than those around them…to think differently, to act differently, etc. That’s it! That’s what I’ve been feeling…like an alien in a foreign world. I have felt attacked by the enemy in this, but also discovered I am putting unnecessary pressure on myself to “fit in” and trying to do things “perfectly” to be accepted here, and not giving myself really any grace of being a foreigner in this land. I have not been relying on God to help me with this transition; I have been trying to strive, figure out everything, and conquer the language (that is estimated to take 1100 hours to achieve language proficiency, not 30 hours :D). But was gently and sweetly reminded by the Lord through I Hear His Whisper – TPT that “When I give you a task, I GIVE YOU the grace to accomplish it. I will never send you to fail or give you a mission only to make you fall. I will strengthen you in the quiet place and bring My transcendent presence to calm your soul.” I don’t have to or need to do this alone or expect myself to be “perfect” transitioning living in a completely new country…I need to give myself grace, accept His grace…remind myself that I am not failing and God sent me here, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be…but trying to do this all on my own is exhausting because I wasn’t made to do it alone. So the past couple of days, I have made declarations over myself of who I am and the promises God has spoken over me about being here and what He wants to do in this place, but also learning to embrace the process. And take my Josiah’s wise advice of just laughing through the process and giving myself grace, because God’s goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life…His authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of His love takes away my fear. And I’ll never be lonely, for He is near. (Psalm 23:4,6 TPT).
1 Peter 2 continues stating “Live honorable lives as you mix with unbelievers (vs 12).” This also spoke to me to not try to avoid speaking to others, attempting my broken Polish with locals, avoiding going to new places in fear of looking dumb for not understanding “simple” things, and just being discouraged letting the enemy have this battle. No! God can and is still using me to show His love to those around me in this city, even during this transition. And accepting that I am going to be different because the Holy Spirit lives in me! `So I leave you with this encouragement…
“Don’t give up, don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting – for he will never disappoint you!” Psalm 27:14