Author - Angharad Davies

1
Can Lack of Consistency Hold You Back in Your Relationship With God?
2
“A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief”
3
What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It – Part 1
4
The Pain of Saying “Goodbye”
5
How to Cope with Reverse Culture Shock – Part 2
6
Change the Resistance in Your Life

Can Lack of Consistency Hold You Back in Your Relationship With God?

Photo Credit: marcovdz via Compfight cc

I could be described by some as a bit of a health nut. I enjoy eating healthily; I am fascinated by diet and nutrition; I love being fit and active. The one thing that holds me back a bit is my lack of consistency. I’ll get into a good exercise regime, and I’ll be feeling so good that I’ll give myself a time out. I’ll take a week off just to relax and let my body rest. But that week can turn into two, and before I know it, a month has gone by, and I need to get fit again. So I am frequently faced with forcing myself back into fitness with the the first run after a holiday, the first gym session after Christmas, the first time in your swimsuit after winter… all those “firsts” that we are tempted to avoid. But we know, deep down inside, that if we avoid it today, we’re just going to have to face it tomorrow, so we may as well face it now.

Yet finding a place of maintenance is so much easier than regular fluctuation.

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“A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief”

Photo Credit: Painting “Spring Again” By Gaylin Downie

The above painting shows the winds of change blowing away the darkness of winter and the old season. Colour is released from heaven to earth bleeding life back into the hills, which become covered in spring flowers. Words: “Wrong will be made right, when Aslan comes in sight. At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more. When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death. And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.” ~ From The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

{This painting is by Gaylin Downie, local artist and YWAM Muizenberg staff of Bethesda House, and we are blessed to feature it here. Her main art expression is prophetic art, which is a visual form of what God is communicating to people to encourage them and highlight aspects of who they are and what they are made for. You can view her art on Facebook here: CrimsonHeart by Gaylin.}

 

My heart breaks and bleeds as I contemplate the extent of the brokenness of humanity. Murders, shootings, gang rapes, molestation, drug abuse, theft… Is there no end to the evil of mankind?

I wish that my thoughts were merely theoretical, but they are not. On a weekly basis I am faced with the troubles in some of the communities in Cape Town, South Africa. It is even sadder that I seem to be more heartbroken than the actual people who live in these traumatic situations.

It’s not that they do not feel the pain, but that the pain has become their normal experience of existence. They are beyond pain. The pain is so deeply entrenched in their culture and identity that they don’t see it anymore.

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What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It – Part 1

Photo Credit: Felicity Davies

I am currently writing this blog entry from the UK, where I’m visiting my home country because my husband and I are missionaries in South Africa. My husband grew up in Manchester, so we are staying in a house provided by a member of his church. I cannot tell you how grateful we are to have our own space while we are at home visiting family and friends – it makes it easier for us to rest in-between social engagements.

Reverse culture shock is when you return to your own culture but find it a bit unfamiliar because you have adapted to the culture of the nation where you are currently living and working.

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The Pain of Saying “Goodbye”

Photo Credit: lost in pixels via Compfight cc

When I was younger, I struggled for years with suicidal depression. When I look back, I can see that I was so obsessed with myself and my pain that I was ignoring the precious people in my life. I was quite selfishly happy to part with them and to never see them again just so that I could stop hurting.

That was a long time ago, and I am now faced with a pain of a different sort. One of the first things I learnt, when I became a follower of Jesus, was that I needed to “sell everything I own and go follow Him.” I did it, and I did it with gladness because of the new life that I had found in Him. Later on, I was faced with the challenge of leaving my home, my language, and my nation. I lived in Wales at the time, and God wanted me to go to England; this is only a four hour train journey, and I would always cry half the way there!

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How to Cope with Reverse Culture Shock – Part 2

Photo Credit: looking4poetry via Compfight cc

In my last article I began to open up about the issue of reverse culture shock (What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It). In this blog entry I would like to discuss ways that I discovered to help me handle this unpleasant experience.

When I first experienced reverse culture shock, I was not aware of what was going on. I felt depressed, discouraged, and disoriented, but I had no words to use to describe what I was feeling. I somehow came across a book called Re-Entry and found that the information imparted in this book helped me understand what I was experiencing; this knowledge in itself brought some relief. As I read this book, I was reassured that I was not the only one to go through reverse culture shock, and it gave me a vocabulary to use to be able to communicate my experience with others. If you are a missionary, I would highly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the issue of reverse culture shock so that you are prepared for when you go through it yourself or when someone you know is going through it.

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Change the Resistance in Your Life

Photo Credit: kohlmann.sascha via Compfight cc

While I was at university in Aberystwyth, Wales, I would go to a weekly spin cycle class. There were about 15 exercise bikes in a room, all facing an instructor who had her own bike. We would then proceed to cycle for around forty minutes on this stationary bike. My instructor would describe a local route for us, so that we could imagine what resistance we needed to use, if we were on proper bikes.

Since we all had our own bikes and since we were only imagining that we were cycling, we could choose the resistance on our individual bikes. A low resistance makes it easier to cycle and a high resistance makes it harder. If you had enough energy and wanted a good work out, you could choose to cycle in a high resistance. On the other hand, if you were feeling more fatigued and a bit weak, you could choose to cycle in a lower resistance.

I am beginning to think that it is possible to draw imagery from this cycling class that is applicable to real life. There are times when we feel full of passion and motivation; we just want to “go for it.” There are other times in life where we find it mentally and emotionally challenging to just do ordinary, daily chores. Wherever possible, I believe, that we need to be willing to change the resistance in our lives.

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