Sunday, June 7, 2009
Friendship and Encouragment
One of the hardest things about choosing to leave your own country and moving to a new one is leaving friends and family. Then, once you get to your new country, you have no friends or family there with you. Usually though, you are so excited about being somewhere new and starting a new life, that it doesn't bother you that much. For me, it took about 6 months for the "honeymoon" stage to wear off, and then it hit me. I'm here for the long haul. This isn't just an extended vacation. I'm going to be away from family and friends for a long time. Now, you can handle this type of situation in a couple of different ways. First of all, you can mope around, feeling sorry for yourself, barricade yourself in your house, and just have an awful attitude about things. As my husband can attest, I have been guilty of this more than once. But recently, while doing a ladies' Bible study with friends, I heard this quote: "Self-loathing is self-worship". Wow! Did that smack me right in the face. I hadn't really ever thought of it that way. If we are busy, just thinking about how depressing our current circumstances are, our mind is on ourself; not on others or on God. Now obviously, another way we can handle the situation is to realize that we have the choice to make life what we want it to be. We are all happier when we have friends and loved ones around us. Life would be pretty meaningless if we were alone all of the time and didn't put forth the effort to make friends or be with the friends we already have.
There is a verse in Proverbs 18:24 that says "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly". So, in other words, if you desire to better your circumstances by having friends, you yourself have to show yourself friendly. You have to take action.
Another Bible verse that is a promise from God that I have seen proven in my own life is found in Mark 10:29-30. It says "......."I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return, a hundred times over......." This verse doesn't necessarily talk about friends, but it does talk about family, and God has certainly given me so many friends here that are as close as family.
I wanted to write this post because I know lots of other people who are living in foreign lands, and I wanted to be an encouragment to them. There is no doubt about it. Whether you are living in a foreign land or not, there are times we feel lonely. We get depressed because there are friends that come in and out of our lives, but we can always know that we can choose to make our circumstances better or worse through our actions.
Also, I was greatly encouraged by a "friend" on Facebook recently. Ida, thank you for your kind words and encouragment to me through your message. The message you sent really does make this blog worth writing.
(The pictures above are just a few of the special friends I have made here. There is definately not room for even a small portion of them.)