My New Culture Won’t Fade

Note: I wrote this last week, and now have the chance to post…
When you move to another country typically you pick up some of the cultural norms. Here’s a few things I’ve picked up on here in Thailand:

  • I bow all the time. Examples: when I greet someone, when I say “Thank you,” when I say "excuse me" to get around someone, when I pass through a group of people, etc.
  • I don’t stand in lines. I stay in the bunch of Thai locals to get to the cash register, and inch my way closer to get my turn.
  • I sometimes say “ka” instead of “yes” or place it at the end of a short sentence to be polite.

Cultural norms aren’t the only things I’ve picked up on. God has taught me a few lessons, and took time to mold my heart over the past 3 ½ months. Here’s a few:

  • God calls me to do His will, and He always gives me the choice to obey or not. I chose to come to Thailand, God didn’t force me to come. It wasn’t my first choice, and I would have rather been elsewhere and do what I wanted, but I chose Thailand.
  • Sitting still in God’s presence is okay. There were days I was so tired I couldn’t focus, so instead of reading the same Bible verse over for the millionth time or praying nonsense, I would sit with God. Most of the time I wouldn’t say anything, and neither would He. In those times, I learned how to be still and enjoy God for who He is and when I’m with Him I don’t always have to do something (i.e. pray, sing, study my Bible).
  • Depend on God for physical strength and energy. Every day when I didn’t think 6 hours of sleep would be enough, or I didn’t think I’d be able to do manual labor at Koh Sirey, or stay awake praying for 3 hours into the early morning hours, or take one more step on Bangla Road somehow I could when I asked for the Lord’s help.
  • God’s love for me never changes. I’ve always known this, but I’ve learned to take it to heart and am learning to walk in it. I don’t have to be perfect or do certain things to “earn” God’s love. I can make a mistake or do/say something someone else might not agree with and still have the same amount of love from God, and He will always forgive and accept me.

There’s a lot more that I’ve learned in my time here, but this gives you a little glimpse for now.
This season is at its end and now I get the chance to process what God has done, what I’ve experienced and “move on”.Some of the culture norms I’ve picked up on will fade but the lessons I’ve learned and the change I’ve gone through won’t. I get to come home for a season and walk in these. I don’t expect it to be easy, but I won’t let it fade and will fight to stay the woman God has created me here in Thailand.

Note: This is my last post to this blog. If you would like to continue to read the journey God takes me on, please follow my blog here.

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