Tag Archives: culture shock

Beautifully Settling Dust

The beautiful Tusheti mountains.

The distance and silence in between now and then was honestly never meant to be. Gosh, one thing led to another and now here I am: more than a year since my last post.  So… yeah…sorry about that.

Oh, trust me— I’ve been writing, that’s for sure, but all my energy and efforts have gone towards a different goal, one that’s been more or less “achieved” as now I’m writing from a totally different place on the planet! As of March we’ve been living overseas and working for a European-based NGO! Talk about a life-change of scenery! Now that’s a long story I will likely be sharing more of in the future. But not yet. 

First I must tell you a quick story about a fast horse. 
I mean fast and maybe even a little wild. 

The shortest version goes something like this: hubby and I along with several others were in a remote village for a language immersion experience. Our hosts planned an afternoon trail ride with a local farm. Like many others we’d seen coming and going that week, we got on our horses and clippity-cloppity away we went. Until four of the horses took a still-unexplained detour and wide-open galloped down the mountain towards home. We were on two of those horses. He and two others got thrown and injured. And me? Well, I swear I’m not bragging, but I just leaned in and held on. 

With every ounce of energy and courage— all my physical and psychological strength— sucking wind, gulping air and prayers—
breathing with the horse because it was really all I could do–
I. Held. On. 

Until… the horse just stopped
I held on until the horse was home. 
It was awful. Thankfully everyone is ok now but trust me, it was not the plan.  Let me be clear: I’m not a rider. It was only the second time I’ve been on a horse in my entire life. I held on because God helped me to. Period.  It’s still a shock.

So I guess you could say the proverbial dust has settled and I’m finally beginning to see things more clearly all around.  While a great deal won’t be seen with absolute clarity until I meet Jesus face to face, it’s amazing how the shadows and lights shift when you are taken out of the “norm” of your life-long, personal existence. 

Some call it
“culture shock”…

I guess it’s an accurate term but for me it’s not the shock of a “here” or  “there”… I mean change— any change is just shocking I suppose.  And you know, shock is sometimes just what we need to get our flat-lining heart, mind and soul to start thriving again.  It’s often what can help us to really see and feel again if we allow it to. It can mean real growth and a complete change of perspective through the bone-deep testing of everything you say and deeply want to believe in.  

And I do. 

I’ve said it a lot recently: the words of those songs I once sang in church, the studies I once freely engaged in and all the places underlined in my Bible were somewhat theoretical…up until now. Now… they are— and had better be— my hoped-for reality and my daily, feeble practice. It all means what it all really means:


There also is nothing quite as shocking as taking in “your” culture’s news from a distance…

I honestly can’t summon up the courage to write in specifics about how I felt about hearing the news of two major Christian personalities and their recent public display of apostasy.  In general I’ll just say it  made me deeply sad but then I must summon the courage to recall the Bible says the last days will be like this. I remember John also said something about the ones who walk away from the Truth.  But I can’t judge their situations.  Jude reminds us to show mercy to them while we persevere. I also know Jesus welcomes doubts, anxieties and fears with open nail-scarred hands and called blessed those who struggle and hang on to the end. It’s enough for me to know how to live today.

Oh and yes… I’m fully aware that it really, really REALLY matters Who and What we’re holding on to. I’ve got some personal experience here—joy and sorrow, success and failure— enough of each to know that THIS matters most of all.  I also know with all my heart: it’s not easy. I’m certain you do as well.

On some days, this walk ya know is going to be your simple average, picturesque “trail ride”. On others, it’s just so hard. Those are the days when you’re just gonna have to lean in and with every ounce of your courage, energy, hope, mind and strength… sucking wind, gulping air and prayers… breathing only by the power of the Holy Spirit… because it’s all you can do…. It’s all we’re asked to do…until we find ourselves on the other side of whatever it was that day…or season. Through the doubts. Through it all.

Holding on- it matters. 
What we hold fast to is important.
Enjoy this life but honestly? Check your grip.
What are you really holding on to? I have to ask myself that question a lot these days. Make sure it’s Jesus.
And then persevere because one day…it’s gonna end. One day… well, like that ridiculous horse… we’ll be Home.