Being a cross-culture worker has caused me to begin to ask myself a few questions. One big question I had was:
Can you give of yourself, and maintain yourself at the same time? I asked this question a few weeks ago.
Now, I think have an answer to my question, but if you are a cross-cultural worker please feel free to comment your thoughts below. There is no way to give yourself up for Christ and in service to people, and continue being the same person you were before. I am losing pieces of myself in order to love and serve Christ more fully, and He is filling me.
I now understand what it means to “be all things to all people” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. I now understand why Paul says he has made himself a “slave to all people.” Being a cross-cultural worker does something to you. You lose pieces and gain other pieces. You become someone you recognize at times, and can’t figure out in other moments. We let go of a lot. We sacrifice a lot, and we gain a lot. I’m letting go of past hurts, anxieties and negative world views.
I’m letting go of what I knew… to embrace what only God knows.
I am continuing my work with hope. Knowing that although I’m losing somethings, I’m making room for what God wants to do through me and inside of me by leaving and going where He has called me to serve. I may be biased, but I honestly believe I have the best job in the world…and the worst job in the world. It’s hard to let go of my education, my accolades, and what’s normal in America to become a child in another culture, all for the sake of the Gospel. It’s a humiliating experience, trust me. But I also have the most rewarding career. I get to partner with what God is doing in the world. I get to see and actively be apart of lives being transformed, chains being broken, idols falling, and HOPE being proclaimed to a hurting world. What a joy it is to get to do this!
But sometimes I’m talked about by the very people I’m serving alongside, I’m mocked for not learning the language quickly enough, I’m ashamed and frustrated by the people I want to love more and serve with. Yet, I know God led me here. So I get to choose to focus on the love, honor, care, concern, selflessness, beauty, and welcome given to me by the very same people.
Serving as a cross-cultural worker is terrible, wonderful, tiring, invigorating, saddening, joy-giving, and utterly divine. So cheers to a lifetime serving alongside people I love. Cheers to this crazy journey called life. And hip hip hooray to the God of all creation for loving me so that I can glorify Him with my life in this way.