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.

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What do you most fear? Failure? Rejection? Loss? The unknown? How do your fears prevent you from pursuing your professional goals? 

For nearly a year before our family moved overseas, my mind was constantly processing the losses my young children would soon experience.

I recently experienced culture stress. The situation: the purchase of a new refrigerator and the fact that it took two weeks for it to be delivered, which meant two weeks of storing my food at my neighbors’ house and two weeks of rearranging my schedule to be available on days the refrigerator might be delivered. This ordeal led me to think about culture shock, ...

The first time I walked into JinXiNanFang Hospital I was eight weeks pregnant.

Leaving the land of the familiar sounds like traveling to me. Stepping into the unknown, the foreign. Leaving the known, the familiar.

There is loss in leaving, and adults come to know it quickly. Experienced overseas workers learn how to make immediate friendships, grieve good-byes, and move on to the next wave of arrivals. There is a cycle, and most of us are transient. You get used to it.

One evening, 17 years ago, I was out walking my dog, and I began processing my life. That particular evening, I started thinking about my calling and my future.

Our thoughts and mindset determine how we view life, learning, and failure. Our minds are always observing and deciphering what's happening around us and what we need to do as a result. Sometimes we interpret life through a certain lens or particular mindset.

We asked an IDEAS Associate, who recently began working with our refugee project in Cyprus, to share how serving refugees has transformed her life.