Monday, November 3, 2014

Rock Climbing- readjusting to culture shock one step at a time



Rock climbing - it sounded like fun to me. I had only been a few times and it was exhilarating and adventurous. I love sports and almost everything outside. What could go wrong with this class?

America- it was my old home and I couldn't wait to get back and see my family. I mean I had heard it could be challenging but I was pretty good at rocking the American life before Peru.. so how bad could it be? Hot showers and clean clothes? Returning from my student missionary would be fine..

It's funny how the two really meshed. I've been rock climbing and readjusting this whole first college semester and to be honest it's been SO MUCH harder than I thought. But I feel like I've learned a few really important things about change and culture shock- hopefully some of these will help friends that are just coming back.

1. Attitude is the difference between perspective and an adventure.
Both rock climbing and transitioning to a new style of life will be an adventure (something you are not used too, different ways of talking, different ways of thinking, different friends, different environment). Stay positive about it.

2. One step at a time then take breaks.
Try not to worry about the future or past- but be in the place where God has called you right now. You are exactly where He wants you and He promises to sustain your needs for this day.
Make sure that you are taking time out from a busy lifestyle to just chill and do the things you love- whether that be running outside, swimming, or chilling with friends. Not too much in life is worth being miserable over.

3. Breathe.
Just like in rock climbing ,breathing by reading God's word and living by the Holy Spirit is essential so that we don't burn out or give up. It's a day by day thing. Without God- you will be broken. You absolutely need His power in your life through rock climbing and especially through changing life into a completely different world.

4. Mentoring/ Counseling/ Instructor wisdom
Don't be embarrassed to seek Godly counsel for all parts of life and make sure you are seeking it from the right places. Try not to unload everything on your best friend or one person because you don't want them to be weighed down by your burdens. Find a Christian counselor, pastor, or spiritual peer who is caring and full of the Holy Spirit. With them, pour out your heart and struggles and they will often help you see another side of the situation.

5. Find your own dance/ flow.
Just like in rock climbing where you need to be comfortable and want a nice rhythm, try to find things that you love about being back home (maybe getting back into your favorite sports or ministries). Try to find ways of expressing yourself and creatively glorifying God.

6. Don't play victim.
If you can climb down from the rock do it yourself don't make another person save you just so you can enjoy being saved. Realize that while you are struggling, it is not everyone around you's burdens and everyone is struggling in different ways. Let God save you each and every day and let Christ give you the daily strength you need.

Readjusting back to America after life in the states was really hard for me. I feel like I'm still not 100% adjusted but I have definitely learned alot and came a long way. Never forget that everyone adjusts at their own pace- so it's ok if you are still missing your country of service while other people seem to be totally thriving in America. Try to give thanks in all circumstances and have faith in God's plan for your life even when it doesn't make sense to you =)



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