Culture shock!

Last tuesday, I flew out of the Atlanta airport to go home for Thanksgiving. When I got to the gate I was leaving from, I decided to do morning prayer because it was morning and I hadn’t prayed yet. I was really surprised at first because I just found it so difficult. Even before I sat down, I felt as if I was surrounded by noise. There was this huge television hanging from the ceiling on the left and somehow I guess they had the volume coming through the intercom so you could hear it wherever you were sitting. Ahh! It was just the weather, but I still found it so distracting. Even after I got home, it was weird for me to be back in a bigger city with all these people everywhere. I remember going to Target one day and thinking, “Wow, I am just in a big crowd of people, and no one is even looking at each other.” The culture shock for me was a little bit intense and I found myself longing for the quiet emptiness of Covecrest and the joy of the community here. The world just seemed so noisy and impersonal after being here for a couple of months. It was weird for me to experience that because for the first month and a half I was here, I really struggled with being in “the middle of nowhere.” I felt so far removed from the world and the silence seemed almost deafening. But I think maybe that’s what happens when we get so used to the noise of the world. Silence seems empty, when really it is full of the voice of God.

Getting to experience the rush that most of the world lives in really helped me to appreciate where I get to spend this year of my life. I am so blessed to be in a place where God is so obviously present, where I can spend two hours or more each day in the chapel (crazy!), where God has stripped me of all that I cling to, so that in the silence, I can hear Him speak to me of His love. Gahh . . . praise God that He takes away everything we rely on in order to draw us closer to Himself. Today, when I was praying in the chapel, I was reminded that God is a jealous God. I know that there have been times in my life where He has taken things away from me that I thought I needed, and I think it was just because He wanted me for Himself. He wanted my heart for His own, but I didn’t know it at the time because I was so caught up in the noise of this world that I couldn’t hear the whisper of His voice. Praise God that He loved me even when I didn’t like it.

“So I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart.” Hosea 2:16

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About the Author

I am a convert to the Catholic faith, was baptized, received first communion and confirmation at the age of sixteen. I graduated from FSU in 2009, and have been a missionary ever since. I love Jesus, mission, coffee, and chocolate. I like to run slowly, dance with no rhythm, and laugh at silly things.