In the expat life there are plenty of opportunities to feel overwhelmed and out ranked regarding abilities. Challenges are around many corners each day as you live in a nation that is not your home nation. Challenges with language. Challenges with culture. Challenges with missing the comfortable and common ways of life. Challenges with missing family. Challenges with not being understood because of cultural differences. Just – CHALLENGES!
These challenges can wear you down. You may start the journey full of energy and vision for this new life. Then as the waves of challenges hit, the bold assurance can begin to wear down with self-doubts. “Can I really do this?” “Can I make it?”
… many questions, doubts, and fears can flood in.
I think everyone can relate to this experience. Living half way across the world is not the only time people experience these challenges. Let’s pull back the covers on these questions, doubts, and fears. Let’s be honest and find help so we can rise and say, “Yes! I can!”.
Finding that lifeline, that breath of fresh air, that renewed strength becomes vital to rise out of the waters of despair.
I think back to an ancient event that is discussed in the Bible. It talks of one leader dying and another leader taking over (The Moses and Joshua story). The new leader is being encouraged in his new position. He is told, “Be strong, Be Courageous.” The words spoken to Joshua (the new leader) come as a command and not a suggestion. I think many times we must remind ourselves that we can choose to Be Strong. We can choose to Be Courageous. And the reverse is true, we can choose to be fearful and to run away from the challenge.
I like the quote made by Franklin Roosevelt, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”(*www.goodreads.com)
As I ponder on this quote, again, I am reminded that the choice is ours. What will we focus on? The fear or the goal to be attained? What will we choose? The fear or the greater good?
In my life, reminding myself of the bigger picture is a great help. The fears, the doubts, and the questions are not as important as the assignment I am engaged in. As an expat, I may be challenged to engage in a conversation where language is a struggle. Well, my mind and emotions can begin to be captivated by questions then the uneasiness and uncertainty of the task. To stop the spiraling of my mind and emotions, I begin to reflect on the purpose of the visit. I consider the other challenges I have faced and how I overcame them. I count the cost of not making this visit. I engage my faith in God. I then look in the mirror and say, “Yes! I can do this!!”
I encourage you to choose to Be Strong and Be Courageous. In the face of challenges, choose to not quit and go home. Choose to stand and stay. Take hold of your Lifeline and rise up out of the waters of despair. Another ancient text says, “Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.” He rises with strength and courage saying, “Yes! I can!”.
Rise again and say YES! I CAN!