I'm tying myself up in knots as I see how I've grown and changed over the last couple of years in the US. I've become more lazy (or maybe just more easily worn out?), more selfish and focused on my own needs, and I've somehow lost some of my best Bible reading habits. I came back to the States a giant wound open and bleeding, ready to show everyone, because no amount of bandages could hide the mess I was. But now? It's scarred over, and I'm glad for that. But there is less grace from others for being a bit of a mess still. Or maybe there isn't less grace from others, but rather I think there will be less grace from others. Who knows? In this Southern world of people appearing perfect, scars are scary.
Whatever the case, while much of the pain is gone, the adjustments to life in the US still continue. This afternoon I went to take a package to the mail. I was wearing a sleeveless dress around the house. Before I left I put on a sweater. It wasn't until I was half way to the post office that I realized that I don't have to make sure my arms are covered to my elbows here. It was such a habit, and still is, I guess, that I didn't even notice my reasoning for wearing a sweater out into the 85 degree heat. I still find these things as they fly out of the blue and crash into my mind. Sometimes the object is a water balloon or even a soccer ball. But sometimes the cleanup of the wreckage is more time consuming.
As I've gone back to things like teaching English I run into more of these things... different, the same... assumptions about life, living, people, how I'm treated, expectations. Culture affects us on so many levels. I've spent so many years trying to make things work with as little in resources as possible that I find having more things available overwhelming. I am accustomed to relying only on people I know well and trust to accomplish things, but here the networks stretch far and wide. It makes me nervous to trust that a friend of a friend of a friend will come through in this or that situation.
I'm learning more and more how much I desperately need God to walk with me through all of this. My trust should be in him, not in the people anyway. My resources come from him, no matter where I am. He is in control of the many planes circling overhead. I need to rebuild new habits and life patterns, making sure I take the time to spend with him. Because it's only through his help that I can conquer the SELF that cries so strongly for coddling and attention.