When you move to another culture, the first few months in your new home are what people call the “honeymoon” phase. You’re excited about the new location, meeting new people, trying out new food, and nesting in your new home. Everything feels fun and exciting – as if you are on an extended vacation.
Sometime around the six month mark, you hit a wall. I’m not sure if this happens to every person, but most experience some kind of stress about living in a new culture. It sets in that you have MOVED here. You’re not leaving anytime soon. The cute little annoyances about the culture that were a bit funny at first are now just annoying. You’re not sure about the food. Maybe your wonderful new home has a leak or a broken air-conditioner or a loud neighbor and you aren’t sure how you are going to live like this.
Enter culture shock.
I’m finding that some of this is true with death. Not that I ever felt like I was on vacation when I lost my mom, but for those first few months I was so busy – keeping up with my girls, having people over, writing thank you notes – that while I did grieve, I didn’t soak it in. It almost felt temporary. Like it wasn’t really happening to me.
But now that it has been five months, it is setting in. Sometimes my heart just feels heavy and I can’t shake that nagging feeling that I don’t want life to go on without my mother in it. I miss talking to her, I miss being with her, I miss her.
But today the Lord planned a way for me to soak in Him and not in my own grief.
But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish…[and] later on He shall make it glorious…[and] the people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. Isaiah 9:1-2
Thank you, Lord, for reaching out to my broken heart when I needed it the most. Thank you, Lord, for sending your Son so that His light would shine in this place of darkness. Thank you Lord.