A Foreigner

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(Photo Credit: Chus’ Life)

In a few hours, I will be flying across the Pacific Ocean to another land, to a completely different culture than what I step out into every morning here in the States. In a way, I will be going home, since I will be reunited with family members that I have missed. It’s odd that while I have spent the majority of my short life so far in California, there is still a part of me that is deeply and strongly attached to my roots in Taiwan. I seriously love that land and its people.

This will probably be my shortest trip ever at just a two-week-long stay, but in that time, I am excited to see family and friends that I have not seen in years, and to eat foods that make Taiwan famous. My schedule will be pretty packed because every moment is precious. After all, I have no idea when I plan to return again. It could be in a year, or another three to five. Every minute does count. Every conversation is important.

Despite feeling all this excitement and anticipation, I am also quite aware that this trip will be sanctifying. As much as I am familiar with the routes I will need to take to visit family members and to find the best shopping deals in different districts, there will be a huge sense of unfamiliarity. Every time I return, there are new metro stations that pop up and where old buildings once stood, glamorous high rise apartments or shopping centers have been erected in its place. There is no doubt that this trip will thrust me out of my comfort zone. And I can’t really ask God for a better time than now to make me uncomfortable. I know and pray that God is going to place many situations throughout this trip that will cause me to trust in Him. I only hope that He will give me courage and boldness to do so, that when I am faced with choices to depend on myself, that I will choose to depend on His wisdom.

Going back will not only serve as an adventure and a reunion for me, but it will also be my spiritual retreat, to get away from the familiar bubble that I experience every day. I will probably be travelling between cities to see friends and relatives by myself. I won’t be able to drive myself around, but I’ll have to use public transportation and the help of directions to get to anywhere.

Although I may look like a native and speak their language (albeit with a slight American accent), I am ultimately still a foreigner in Taiwan. My status in that country is only temporary. I know I will be challenged. I know that there will be trials, that even during those two weeks when I am around people that I call family, that I will have moments where I feel alone and out of place. It is during those times that I can only turn to God. There will be nothing to distract me, nothing that will satisfy or comfort me.

Even more so, it is my faith in God, my identity as a follower of Jesus, my rejection of the world, that distinguishes me as a foreigner forever. I will have to remind myself that my citizenship is in heaven, that no matter what happens during my trip and throughout the rest of my life, Christ will be by my side wherever I go. It is Christ’s death and resurrection that assures me of my salvation, which will not change when I cross borders or when I interact with people that have no regard for what I believe. So I look forward to God stretching me on this trip, to see what He will be revealing to me and the lessons that I’ll learn. I hope that in two weeks, I will be a little bit more refined and refreshed.

Please pray for me. Soli deo gloria.

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4 Comments

  1. Tiffany says:

    Things and places do seem to constantly change in Taiwan. It seems like four years is not that long ago, but one of my favorite food chains closed down in that time! Haha.

    Love that last paragraph about being a citizen of heaven. That’s something I’ve been thinking of more too, and feeling more and more that I’m not at home in this world. Have a wonderful and safe trip! I’m praying for you as you reconnect with your roots and experience more deeply the blessing of how God has shaped you with your cultural heritage. ❤

    Like

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