The past two years in Africa have transformed my understanding of relationships and particularly my role in relationships. When I was in the states relationships were easier and more natural as I rarely had to cross cultural barriers to form them. So I invest in the relationships that I was most comfortable in and in all honesty that I benefited from the most. However if I functioned like that here I would be friends with no one (except other missionaries). Here getting to know people is just plain hard work, because it requires leaving my world and entering theirs. As I have walked through this process the past two years and have worked hard to form relationships God has shown me that relationships were not ever supposed to be about me. This is something that I always knew in my head, but I am starting to learn what that means in reality.
Here are a few things that life has taught me about relationships…
- Relationships are about sacrifice
- Relationships take time…so I need to find that time
- I need to be willing to take the first step
- Relationships aren’t about comfort
- Relationships are about walking through normal life with people
- The more a relationships become less about me, the more beautiful it becomes