the very-not-comfortable zone.

They don’t use the phrase “out of your comfort zone” for no reason.

And despite all the preparation for study abroad, despite the day-long orientation, despite the talks on culture shock and adjustment period and open-mindedness, nothing really prepares for you that moment when you are finally kicked out of your comfort zone and land smack-dab in the middle of your uncomfortable zone.

I’ve been in Malta for two weeks now. It’s been uncomfortable.

Nothing prepares you for this. Nothing prepares you for the emotional rollercoaster of study abroad. No one told me that it would be so hard. No one warned me that I might start crying in the bathroom in the Toronto airport. No one told me how terrifying it would be to get on that plane that flies away from everything you know, and then to get off that plane and step right into the unknown. No one told me that I could be standing in the midst of a beautiful garden, staring out at sea and sky so blue a camera could never capture it, and half of my mind would be thinking, I just wish I was at home.

And obvious as it is – that 4,800 miles is a long way from home – it’s a really long way from home. It’s a long way from my friends and family. A long way from the church that has become my second family, from the dance studio floor that I know like the back of my hand, from the campus I could walk in the dark. It’s a long way from a place where I belong, where I fit in, where I know my place and my way around.

4,800 miles away from the place where I fit is very much out of my comfort zone.

I didn’t expect the sense of displacement. I didn’t expect to feel slightly lost at all times, even once I figured out my way around the campus. I didn’t expect to feel so transplanted. I didn’t expect to feel so completely like I don’t belong here. I didn’t expect it to feel so overwhelmingly not-home.

but being this far away from home has made one truth abundantly clear to me: I can never be too far for God.

it’s a truth I’ve become extremely grateful for.

to Him who by understanding made the heavens,

for His steadfast love endures forever;

to Him who spread out the earth above the waters,

for His steadfast love endures forever;

Give thanks to the God of heaven,

for His steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 136:5-6, 26

There is nowhere I can go that is too far for Him who made the heavens, for Him who spread out the earth. There is nowhere I can go that He will not be there, that He will not go with me, always and evermore, for His steadfast love endures forever.

(steadfast, by the way, is one of my favorite words. Strong, firm, unwavering; some words just sound the way they mean, and steadfast is one of them.)

I can never be far away from the One who made the world.

I can never be lonely with the One who created relationship.

I can never be scared with the One who defeated death itself.

and I can never be unloved, with the One whose steadfast love endures forever.

(if you want to hear more about my shenanigans in Malta, they’ll be happening over here).

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One thought on “the very-not-comfortable zone.

  1. this is beautiful. thank you for being so raw and honest. I know exactly how you feel. it’s amazing the realm of emotions you never thought you had. you’re right, nothing can prepare you for it!
    one of the things I miss a lot is rooming with you! we had it good, friend.

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