They blew me away with their welcome. It wasn’t just awesome. It was CRAZY awesome.
It started with a thorough welcome letter about the household I would live in, and a few things to expect about the style of the work place: casual, occasional co-worker outings, and plenty of fun activities to participate in.
Then as my arrival date was just around the corner, they made a video about welcoming me, introducing me to each person as well as showing me around the home. It was a video just for me. Now, ask your self, when was the last time strangers made a video for you? Never? Because that was my case. I was floored! Wow!
Then, when I arrived, I was embraced and welcomed tremendously from every single person. I was again awestruck, and so very excited to be with everyone! They left me information on places to visit locally for banks, ice cream, bars, and falafel. I felt I was home.
Unfortunately, the next few days were somewhat of another story. I found people to be short in their answers to my personal questions about their lives. I noticed people were NOT incredibly thoughtful in acknowledging my presence with “good morning,” or a “good evening” phrases. More often than not, it was either not given, or it was said in passing without much emotion.
I noticed these events, and I started placing value on them. I began thinking of them as instances of proof that I was among women who were introverted and acting shy around me. In other instances, I wondered if these events were pointing to something about my own worth. “Maybe I am not what they thought I would be,” was the most frequent thought that ran through my mind, and it would run for the next five minutes to one hour depending on my mood.
I started realizing what it was like to be a stranger in a distant place. It had been so long since I did this. The last time was in college. This was completely a new city, without anyone I knew.
This past Pentecost, the homily had a word of advice for me: F.E.A.R. It’s an acronym for Face Everything And Rise. You would think the biggest thing I am facing is the change of the town, or the new job. Maybe you would guess that because my housemates are shy I am having challenges. A counselor might ask me to evaluate how much negative energy I am creating by believing the inaccurate thoughts about my self worth.
The answer is that there are many challenges. And I am asked to F.E.A.R. knowing that the Holy Spirit has never left me. That’s the trick of evil, to make any one of us believe that we have to Face Everything Alone. That is so very far from the truth! I have never been alone in that way. I may feel lonely, but I am not abandoned. I may have a heavy amount of challenges, but my faith in Christ can sustain me if I will allow Him to.
F.E.A.R. is what all Christians are called to do. To be extraordinary because we are not alone, but have the gifts of the Spirit welling up within us.
I have officially arrived in my new city. But I am thoroughly still adjusting. And I think I’ll feel better once I ask everyone I live with to give me a hug as a sign of unity, as a sign of trust, as a sign that we are F.E.A.R.ing together, with Christ. That, hopefully, will break the ice.
Interested in reading another great reflection on feeling alone but having God?
- Blogger I follow wrote this: Grace for the Road: Loud. http://gracefortheroad.com/2014/05/08/loud/