Several years ago, the possibility of taking my family overseas to a new country became a reality. Since then, our lives have been anything but predictable. Looking back, if I had known what I know now, I would not have been filled with doubt, fear, and hesitation. Instead, I would have been filled with expectation and excitement.
When you allow yourself to accept change and ambiguity, you allow yourself to grow.
Embracing change has transformed me in the following ways:
- Adaptability. One of the first things I learned about myself ever since I left my home in the U.S. is how adaptable I am. In the face of necessity, my family and I have learned to adapt not only to a new place but also to new daily circumstances, such as new food, mannerisms, language, dress codes, and traffic signs.
- Creativity. I have learned to live with ambiguity, as life seems to have its own agenda. Although planning is necessary to accomplish anything, plans must account for the inevitable changes ambiguity brings to the table, otherwise efforts will become frustrated. Ambiguity has proven useful while living abroad. Accepting ambiguity when it emerges allows us to become creative in order to accomplish our tasks and motivates us to fully employ our skills, giving birth to new ideas and giving us the ability to be at peace to meet our goals.
- Priorities. I have learned to value relationships more than time. In our new location, relationships are viewed as paving the way to community, understanding, security, prosperity, and many other necessities we humans need more than time. Taking time to develop relationships has allowed us to slow down our approach to building community and to reach out in meaningful ways, bringing transformation to many, allowing for trust and long-lasting friendships.
- Communication. I no longer speak one language when conversing with others. I often find myself having conversations with people from different nationalities at the same time. Even though we may all be speaking in English, we invariably use one or two words from our native tongues, which makes the conversation a bit more interesting.
- Courage. My family and I no longer fear change. We thrive with it. Change is inevitable, uncontrollable, powerful, and wonderful at the same time. Change now means adventure and excitement. Change is the most constant thing in our lives. Because of change, we have come to discover skills we did not know we possessed. These skills are a gift from God for us to be able to move others towards changing their lives in positive ways while being changed ourselves.
Home is where the heart is, which means my heart is in many places. I love my home away from home. I love that I can call another country my home. I am no longer a citizen of just one country. I am a citizen of the world because I have lived, work, and evolved in several countries.
Life has become a journey of self-discovery and exciting transformation. Change is inevitable, friendships abound, and the opportunity to transform lives along the way fills the heart and honors God.
What steps can you take to embrace the transforming power of change in your life?
About the Author: Tony is the IDEAS Project Operations Director for North Africa. Originally from Mexico, he and his family reside in Tunisia and enjoy calling this their home. Enjoy other blogs by Tony, such as: How Are You a Mover and Shaker?