I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the culture and the things that the Albanians’ value. This place has an interesting history and a bright future! The people are ambitious and hard-working, and I have a lot of respect for them.
But it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. In this time of change for us, there have been days that it has been hard to adjust. One of my best friends sent me a message one day (when I was really struggling with jet-lag), telling me to give myself lots of grace and not be too hard on myself. That was what I really needed to hear. It’s easy to let negativity get inside of my head. Some mornings I wake up and I don’t feel like I have anything to offer and every day reveals new areas where I am inadequate (like hardly being able to order from a restaurant). I’m learning to laugh at my mistakes and let go of my need to ‘have it all together.’ Because really, no one does.
“I’m learning to laugh at my mistakes and let go of my need to ‘have it all together.’ Because really, no one does.”
Today Ross and I sat down at the lunch table with a group of second graders. After several failed attempts to communicate with each other, we realized that neither of us could speak well in the other’s language. It was frustrating at first, but then after a minute, we started pointing to each other and saying our names. It was so fun that both groups were interested to learn the other’s language. Even though I still have no idea what the kids said, they taught me a lesson: you don’t have to know all the words perfectly to communicate. Even though I get frustrated with myself because of my accent and how I pronounce words wrong, I’m learning to be okay with messing up.
Often, we get stuck on comparing ourselves to someone else’s appearance of perfection without ever taking the time to get to know that person, and that is very, very sad. Learning that I have nothing to prove has been my greatest take away from the second week here. I don’t want people to look at me and see the perfect image that I paint, I want them to see me as the person I am. And I want to look past other people’s masks and see them as a person, loved by God, and worth getting to know for real.
In what areas of your life are you being too hard on yourself? As you ask God to reveal more of his grace to you, pray that the REACH teams would also be reflecting this grace in all of their interactions.