Eat Pray Wife

The Reality of Reverse Culture Shock

I’m sitting here after two of the best weeks of my entire life. Tears are streaming down my face, and I feel absolutely helpless. My heart is cracking with every passing moment, and I keep taking breaks to cry a little and then start back doing whatever it was that I was doing before. When I start a project, I get distracted and have trouble completing that task. When my alarm goes off, I don’t even hit snooze. I just turn it off and roll back over.

It’s a cycle I’ve gone through so many times before, and this time, I really believed it would be different. For some reason, I thought it would be easier. I scrolled through the beautiful pictures all the way home, on both flights and even in the car. I’ve been telling stories from the trip left and right to whomever will listen. It’s like I’m doing everything I can to still be there, even though I’m not.

The hardest part is just laying here crying, missing the babies, longing for just one more hug from our sweet housekeeper Jeannette, wishing that I could be back in a truly uncomfortable climate and knowing that I can’t remedy all of these feelings until I’m back in the place that soothes my soul.

Trying to have a normal day on your first day back is like trying to pretend you didn’t just walk out of a landfill where people are living amongst the rubble and trash surviving on items that people have thrown away. It’s like trying to unlearn that little girls are being abused with no one there to protect them. It’s like trying to justify living in abundance when you know that so many phenomenal people are living on less than $1 a day. How do you have a normal day after you meet a little girl was beaten (almost to death) by her parents and then left in a ditch to die?

You can’t. Bottom line… a normal day doesn’t exist after that.

All I can do is sit here and be so grateful for the opportunities that God has given me to serve. I wouldn’t trade these past 2 weeks for anything in the world. All the trips to serve the kids are more valuable than anything this world has to offer.

I haven’t taken proper time to thank those who have supported our efforts this time, and I want to do that now. Thank you for creating these opportunities to learn, to be changed, to be broken, and ultimately to be used by God. Without your unwavering support, unconditional love, and understanding spirit, these trips and projects would not be possible. As real and unbearable as the pain from reverse culture shock feels, I would take this over “not knowing” any day.

Please be patient with me as I prepare some recap posts from our trip. I want to share every moment and meeting with you as a way to wrap up 25 days of Giving. That’s all for now.

– the Wife

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One comment

  1. You certainly are a beautiful young women Lindsay. Your heart shines through the words you have written. “The LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Sam. 16-7 Your story touched my heart so deeply. I personally have not experienced the reverse culture shock due to travelling so far from home like you have. I struggle with reverse culture shock right here in Canada. God has placed me in a tiny village where life for the locals is very very difficult. This Christmas was very difficult for me because I’ve intimately come to know the struggles of the people who live all around me.

    Your story struck me so deeply. I experienced the reality of reverse culture shock over the holidays. I traveled to the city over the holidays because my family wanted to do some shopping. (I live a few hrs away from Halifax NS) Upon entering the mall I could barley contain the emotion wellling up inside me. The mall was full of people scurrying around to buy the next best thing.

    My girls took my into a very popular makeup store and it was full of people, the line was out the door. I picked up a few products and the prices and what they offered hit me like someone had punched me in the stomach! I politely excused myself and found a spot to collect my emotions. All I could think of was the “hunger games”.

    The day before I was helping families, making sure they were warm and had enough food for the next couple of days and then here I was in the middle of a completely different culture only a few hrs from the tiny village that experience such overwhelmeing physical and emotional trauma.

    It’s hard to imagine a place in this country where people still have not become familiar with the internet or can not read or write or die from malnutrition and/or live with physical and mental impairments due to so many improper actions. Things I take for granted everyday are so far away from the people I meet.

    When I first arrived here I could barely stand it! I cried out to God so often for answered. Maybe I wasnt listening or maybe it has taken this long to be able to move through them sharing what the Holy Spirit gives me and praying intently for everyone, always.

    I struggled so often when I first arrived here. Always working in my own strenthgh to provide for the physical needs of the people around me. As you can imagine that was exhausting. I felt like I was throughing money into a deep black hole. All through this I was connecting with God for several hrs everyday and little did I know at the time, He was changing me. My experience here has strengthened me, preparing me for the next season.

    My focus lately has been on how Jesus walked with us as a man. He encountered much oppression and mental illness. He always healed them and sent them away to share the power of the Word of God. He didn’t worry about the details of this life because He knew the greater purpose. When a man connects with the Spirirt of God his life is changed forever. Mine was.

    Liked by 1 person

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