It is difficult to know who we really are underneath until we are out forced of our comfort zones. These past six months in Ireland have proved to be interesting, to say the least! There have definitely been frustrating times but most of our experiences have been rewarding moments of self-discovery.
Sometimes we are frustrated at ourselves for doing things that we did all the time for years that are suddenly inappropriate. For example, a high five is not cool here. It is, at best, a bit weird! I find myself folding my arms and smiling at people a lot...it’s basically been a process of me trying not to appear creepy.
We are also frustrated by things that are so ingrained in our personalities that it feels like we are losing a part of ourselves by letting these things go. Blake, in particular, is a guy who likes to check tasks off the list. Who doesn’t? It was something that fit pretty well with our American culture. In Ireland, spending time with others is prioritized over finishing tasks. Blake loves people, for sure, but has had to work on putting aside the checklist for a little while.
It’s tough to deal with the angst of unveiling some unpleasant things about ourselves, but that’s life! Frustration with ourselves is not fun but it is something we can go through with grace. My grandmother, Addie Joy, just lost her husband recently. On the phone last night she told me about her daily devotional that she was reading about what to do with our frustrations. She said that the solution is very simple...say the name of Jesus. He is all we need. It is great to have such reminder of where our hope and our identity truly is. I think THAT deserves a high five.