I remember specifically the day my mom flew home after my first child was born. Gone were all the nurses in the hospital; gone was the woman who had successfully raised four functioning young adults. Being alone with a blinking person who still has their umbilical cord attached can make a parent kind of, you know.
When I was 23, an editor position opened up at the publishing house where I was working. In the vein of having integrity, I approached my boss with my interest in the position.
“You don’t have the chops for that job,” he told me point-blank.
His blithe directness, to be frank, chapped my hide. But looking back now, there’s no doubt in my mind he was right. I’m not sure if I have the chops for that particular job now. Yet it did make me take a look at the job itself and gradually appreciate just how off my self-assessment was–as well as my understanding of the job itself. And honestly, I buckled down to eventually be the kind of person who could qualify for a job like that.
My first trip to the grocery store in East Africa was….overwhelming. There may have been some tears when I got home.
Maybe it was worse because I didn’t expect grocery shopping to be a source of stress. My friend had been raving about how she loved this grocery store. And I was excited to finally dive in to cooking for my family and not relying on the kindness of other members of our expat community for meals.
But there I was, swallowing back tears. A few example factors (many of which may seem lame, but made sense in my culturally-overwhelmed season of life):
Here at Go. serve. Love, we’re all about bringing you tools you can use to truly go there, serve Him, and love them well. So we’re stoked about today’s offering: a printable, flexible timeline infographic to help you start picturing the journey there. (You can find it on our Tools for Your Trip page, too, along with our first infographic: 7 Standards of Excellence for Your Global Work.)
Nope, this won’t encompass everything. But you’ll start to see how all this comes together, and maybe even if you’ve been missing anything. (In fact, if you think we’re missing a key element, feel free to comment below!)
Overwhelming? Sho ’nuff. But most journeys worth taking are.
This week, we’ve got a few tips on packing. (Don’t worry–there’ll be lots more to come.) When my family went over, I confess my 2 1/2-year-old maaaaaay have fallen over backwards after Mommy made his carry-on backpack a teensy bit full. It was amazing how many prayers of mine were offered on behalf of that poor British Airways attendant who would be checking in (and yes, offering a lot of grace toward) our family of six.