Truthfully, as I and my fiancé began spreading the word, we braced ourselves for all kinds of reactions. I’ve known friends who have done the cross-cultural marriage thing, and it wasn’t always received well. That’s another topic for another discussion, but I wasn’t naive to the possible questions and judgments.
We have been pleasantly surprised at how the Lord has gone before us in this sense. We prayed from the beginning of our relationship that it would be one that brought honor and glory to the Lord Jesus, and He has answered this prayer in more ways than one (maybe I’ll tackle some of those later on!).
“But Lydia,” you say, “You’re moving away…forever? That’s a really big deal. Will I ever see you again? Aren’t you scared? What do your parents have to say?”
Well those are some loaded questions…let’s tackle them one at a time, shall we?
Will you ever see me again? Let’s hope that, yes, I’ll get to see you again! Just because I’m moving away does not mean that I will never step foot in the US again; nor does it mean that we will never consider living in the US. Also, I hope you haven’t ruled out coming to visit me! ;)
What do your parents have to say? This one is REALLY important, and I am thrilled to share that they are quite excited about the whole thing for several different reasons. First, they have a pretty good excuse to travel the world…which they love to do anyway. Second, they see it as a great answer to their prayers—that God would provide me with a husband who loves the Lord with all his heart and will seek to follow Him wherever He leads. Third, they see it as a unique opportunity to fulfill my desire to serve the Lord Jesus across cultural lines. Sure, we’ll miss being together as much as before…but that is never a guarantee for any of us!
Aren’t you scared? Um…that is a tricky question. If I say no, you would think I was a lunatic to leave everything behind for this new life. And, it would cover up the truth that there are some things that I’m concerned about [hold your horses; we’ll get to those]. If I said yes, you would wonder why in the world I would have made this choice in the first place. And, it would totally deny the truth that I believe in the sovereign, wise, and good God Almighty who is present in the lives of each one of his children.
So yes…I have “concerns”…like I have every. single. time. I’ve moved. How long will it take me to make friends? How long will it take to find a semblance of routine? How long will it take for me to feel “home”? Completely normal. Also, I would feel this way if I was moving to New York or Houston or LA…wouldn’t you?
What I love about these “concerns” is that I’ve faced them before, and I’ve seen the Lord’s faithfulness in these areas and more before. My confidence and my hope isn’t in my ability to make friends, or my language fluency, or in my future husband, or in my familiarity with a particular neighborhood. My confidence is the God of the Universe who has called me by name to be His.
So here’s to a new transition filled with sorting, packing, goodbyes, travels, hellos, and starting a “new” life! Let’s see how committed I can be to keeping you all in the loop.
I love coffee. I’m sure it was an inevitable fact of life that I would be drawn into this subculture considering that my dad and elder brother take coffee quality quite seriously. I started off drinking it because I needed (read—wanted) caffeine my freshmen year of college. And like all youngsters, I started off with lots of cream and even more sugar…and sometimes some chocolate powder. But all the taunting from the serious coffee drinkers in my life eventually wore me down into drinking coffee as is. Black. No cream, no sugar, no nothing. And, now that’s the best part of waking up! ;)
A couple of weeks back, someone asked my dad “What is your all-time favorite cup of coffee?” His response was thought-provoking, like many things he says. He named a couple of different coffee brands, but then commented that you can actually drink a fantastic cup of coffee, only to have it completely ruined by the circumstances…meaning that it could be in a really boring meeting, with folks that you aren’t necessarily relaxed with, or even as you hear an announcement of bad news.
So my favorite cup of coffee…it went like this. I had been living in India for about a year and left the country for a couple of days for a routine visa run. I had a friend from my college days teaching in Indonesia and decided that it would be good for my heart to see a good friend and, what’s more, it was below budget to get there!
Indonesia is beautiful, relaxing, and full of things to explore…including all types of delicious food AND coffee! And not just any coffee—they have the special kind of coffee that only the crazies drink…Kopi Luwak. The kind that civet cats eat and process internally, which is then cleaned and processed for us to drink!
One afternoon during my visit, she took me on her scooter to a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop with a garden, and we had the most delicious cup of coffee accompanied by a long, good, heart-to-heart kind of conversation.
There are many other cups that are close contenders, but this one cup was just special. Civet coffee, that is unique. But seeing a friend from “home” after a long year is heart-warming.
What’s your favorite cup of coffee?
These past few months (actually, year if we’re honest with each other) have been a whirlwind of emotions, excitement and change! And, as my beloved mother says,
“Life is about change!”
It’s been an interesting and culturally-enlightening journey for me…this engagement process. Strangely enough, it seems like I have learned more about my own culture than my fiancé’s. Maybe I’ll tackle some of those in a future post.
All that to say, the news is out! We’re engaged! Thank you, social media, for helping me spread the word far and wide. However, we have had a rather enjoyable time telling friends and family face-to-face as we see and meet them. I love re-living our story and the surprised expressions!
I would have never imagined I would be moving back to India so soon, nor did I ever anticipate moving back as the (soon-to-be) wife of a very special Indian (more on that later too)! But I am oh-so-excited, and continually grateful to the Lord for His guidance, provision, and goodness to us in the last year and some months.
With the advent of my wedding and subsequent move across the world again, I’ve had several friends and family ask me if I would start writing again. I have gone back and forth with the idea, but since the point of this blog at its creation was to keep friends and family [somewhat] in the loop as I went about life “over yonder,” it only seems like an appropriate time to return from my hiatus.
So here I am…stay tuned for more!