My Truths.

PANO_20140525_093814When I first arrived in Graz, I didn’t have much to do. I had a couple acquaintances (many of whom later became friends), only 6 hours of orientation spread out over three days, no knowledge of German, and very little knowledge of the city I found myself transplanted in.

So, I bought a pad of paper and some colored pencils, and I drew out three phrases that I knew were good for me to remember.

“Be joyful always,” Not so easy when you’re starting over in a foreign country and feel a little bit alone.

“Pray continually,” Right. You don’t need to tell me twice. “Jesus, where can I find a bathroom?” “How do I get home?” “Can I have a friend, please?”

“Give thanks in all circumstances.” Look at what you’ve got, not all the things you’re missing.

It was a good thing to have up, since I spent a lot of time sitting in my room and wondering, what I was going to do with myself?Look at the wall. Oh, well, I suppose I’ll be joyful, pray, and give thanks. Then maybe I’ll take a walk.

Since I hadn’t found a church yet either, I watched a lot of Beth Moore teaching videos online. Whenever she said something that resonated in my heart, I added it to the wall.

“The essence of covenant is loyal loving.”

“‘Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast – as you really are.’ I Cor. 5:7…We can’t let our past characterize our present.”

“Only God can love like God.”

These visual snippets were ringing true in my life. I am new, God loves me unfailingly, and I love because He loves me.

I kept adding to it as I kept learning. The wall doesn’t encompass everything I’ve learned this semester, but I’ve got some poignant parts of what I’m learning in everyday view.

“If God doesn’t do it, it’s not going to happen… If we forget the Giver, it can become an idol. It is God who has done this thing.” – Tim Dilena

“Taste defeat, then brush your teeth.” – Relient K

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus, and because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death… And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” – Romans 8

“Love comes from God. No one has ever seen God, but if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love.” – I John 4

“Be not proud of race, face, or place; it’s all by grace.” – Charles Spurgeon, as quoted by Tim Dilena

“If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.” – Emily Dickinson

When I’m not sure what my health insurance covers or don’t know how to not miss home or have no idea what my American Lit exam will be like, I have something to look at. These are my certainties. When the world shifts from under my feet or when I shift above the earth in a jet, God stays the same, and even though not all of these truths come straight from a sermon, they are true as well.

Opposite that wall is a reminder of where I am and where I came from.

PANO_20140525_093833

My map of Graz, my pictures of friends and family, and all the cards that people have sent me since I’ve been here.

Thank you to all of you who helped me decorate my walls, whether with a card or for being in a picture, or for speaking truth into my life. You’ve helped make my room a happy place to be.

 

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4 thoughts on “My Truths.

  1. I am not sure how you got to Graz, but you have done something that I have always wanted to do. Unfortunately with a young son now I can’t bare to take the leap. Thank you for making that jump and moving to another country regardless of the reason. Starting over is scary it is nice to see someone do the fearful thing.

    • I’m here on exchange! I’m only here from February to July, but it is still difficult to start over, nonetheless. Thanks for reading! I hope you get to have some adventures of your own with your son. :)

  2. Nice post girl! I know those feelings of being away from home…but it is so much easier to trust in God!
    I keep meaning to ask if you have seen the you tube video “How German is different from other languages”. If you haven’t seen it…you must!!!
    Wanted to reconnect about writing some for Made for Freedom as well. Rather than ghost writing, just have you as a contributor. I know you have an exam coming up, so let’s talk after that about what contributing would look like.
    Oh yeah…fun news in my world… http://www.stltoday.com/business/columns/david-nicklaus/arch-grants-is-changing-st-louis-culture-one-entrepreneur-at/article_c4e36540-ba27-5752-91aa-9aa9aa2c38b4.html
    Many blessings!!!
    Dawn

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