Monday, August 2, 2010

Reality Check...We're not in Texas anymore

I think it has finally hit me.  I have been so excited about a change of duty station, living overseas, experiencing a new culture and visiting new places with my family that I didn't see it...or maybe I ignored it.

Yesterday I was browsing a book that was given to me about military living in Korea .  One of the articles was about culture shock.  I thought "culture shock"  not me..I've been so excited knowing our family will be together for  two years, there will be lots of new things to see and do, and how many people really get to experience something  like this (living in another country). 

Then as I went to bed last night the reality hit me....

I may not see me parents for two years.
I will not be talking to my sister daily, like we did when I lived in Texas.
I will be missing the birthdays of my nieces, nephews and other family members.
I won't be shopping at Walmart or Target for quite awhile.
What I  know of as American Cable TV will not be in my future for quite some time.
I won't be spending the holidays with my family for the next two years.

Ok, I  need to stop there before I allow the negative things to take over.  I guess I could say I am experiencing a bit of culture shock now.  At this point, two years seems like a really long time.  It's longer than a deployment.  It means the difference between seeing my sister's new baby when he was born to meeting a toddler who walks and talks.  If I dwell on it, I get overwhelmed.

When we were in Texas, we were not close to family, but it was only a 26 hour car drive to get back to my parent's home.  Here, it is a 12 hour plane ride...another 6 hour plane ride and a drive.  It can't be done on a whim and will definitely cost me more than a trip from Texas to Pennsylvania.

So, at this point I need to just give my struggle, emotions and sadness about what I am missing in my life to God.  I need to lean on Him to get me through what I am feeling right now.  I can't imagine doing this as a 20 something new military bride and I can not imagine doing this journey without my faith.  I have a place to turn, a place to find refuge that not all families experiencing what we are going through have established in their lives.

Yesterday, my husband's sermon was on the importance of the body of Christ and the roles we each play.  We need each other.  We all have something to contribute, to help each other out.  Gathering together with other believers is important and we should not forsake that.  I need to get my focus off of myself and see what I have to give to encourage others who are going through the same things that I am going through.  I am thankful for some very good Christian friends that I have already met here in Korea....some in our apartment complex, others at chapel and others through facebook that I have connected with after arriving.

We all have something to contribute to the body of Christ and we need to be giving and not just sitting back waiting to receive.  What are your gifts and talents?  Do you have something to contribute to the body of Christ?  Maybe you don't think so, but step back and think again.  You like to cook...making a meal can bless someone.  You enjoy like to shop....buying a small gift can cheer someones day.  Is organizing fun for you? Maybe a busy mom could use your help.

Don't sit back and dwell on your situation but get busy and start blessing your friends, neighbors and those in your church with your gifts and talents.  Remember, without our pinky toe, we would not be able to keep our balance.  However small you think your contribution might  is needed.

So I am going to stop thinking  about what I don't have or what I will be missing while living in Korea and start blessing others with what I do have.

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