The Battle of the ‘Unfamiliar’ (Re-visited)
I posted something about this topic over a year ago, but I felt it’s relevant to share my view about the unfamiliar.
How do you find purpose in the unfamiliar when you have to battle with a lot of obstacles?
Acceptance and adapting are the major obstacles in the unfamiliar especially if there are communication barriers. My, my, my…that’s hard.
These were my questions:
How do I adapt to the language norm in the first place and overcome culture shock? How do I modernise my attitude and character to avoid being misunderstood? Why do I look like an intruder? Everyone seems different, and I can’t find anyone to understand the language of my heart that yearns so much to belong if given a chance. Why would God bring me in such a place where I can’t locate anyone from my clique? Everything was different, so very different that it frightened me to take a step.
So I learnt these three lessons:
The unfamiliar threatens your ability to speak and interact with people. It limits you from connecting with the community. It pulls you back anytime you want to take the step forward in meeting new people and reminds you that you don’t belong. It restricts you from socialising with the unknown environment. It holds you back and keeps you in a cabin called ‘fear and insecurity’. It goes like this, ‘will I be accepted? Will they understand my accent? What if I get rejected? But I don’t look like them. What if they don’t like me?’
Can I tell you something? ‘What ifs’ questions will always hold you back from setting initiatives and taking actions. Whether you get liked or not is not a reason for you to worry. It’s how do I make use of this season and fulfil God’s purpose for my life. How do I maximise myself and my God-given talents to impact this environment? How do I break off the limitations that surround me, and pull down every barrier that seems to lock me up in this space call fear and insecurity?
The egg and cocoon stage may look uncomfortable and limiting, but there is no way the caterpillar can turn into a butterfly if she skips those trends.
The cocoon period is the development and transformation stage; it is when the caterpillar gets isolated in an unfamiliar environment, looking strange and limited. That is how we feel when we find ourselves in the unknown, away from comfortable. But instead of throwing tantrums and getting all worked up, the caterpillar knows within her, that the only way she can get to the butterfly stage where she can fly without limit and fulfil her purpose, is to accept the new setting. She learns how to adapt to her new cocoon environment and go through the process of growth, development and expansion that will transform her into a butterfly in the not too far future. However, she will never turn into a caterpillar if she stays in the egg. And she will never discover the potential hidden in her to become a beautiful butterfly if she remains in the cocoon trying to reason why she finds herself in that space and refusing to break out at the right time.
In my situation, I had to push myself out in the open, force my entire being to break off the shell of fear and pierce into the very depth of this unfamiliarity. Otherwise, the obstacles were going to dim my vision and paralyse my purpose. I figured out that my situation was not going to change unless I get up, step out and take action. It doesn’t matter what people say or think. Whether people understand you or not, you are already there, and there’s no turning back. You’ve come too far to turn back and give up. That’s not part of God’s plan for you. You’ve gone through a lot of sacrifice in the process of getting there, so it’s not the time to call it quit. The caterpillar didn’t halt in the egg or the cocoon; she went all the way to become a butterfly.
God brought you to that environment for a reason, and He will surely make a way. You don’t have to worry about what people say or how they’ll react to you because people will always have something to say. Whether you’re accepted or not, that’s irrelevant, because you are in a place to fulfil your purpose for that season. Hence, let nothing move or distract you. Stay focus and be ON COURSE! You are in line with destiny.
The caterpillar Metamorphoses into a butterfly by going through the developmental process in the cocoon. Your unfamiliar might be the cocoon environment that will metamorphose you into that glorious future God has beautifully chiselled for you.
So I challenge you to arise out of fear and insecurity, and take-off into the wings of your destiny, discover and work on your talents and let them blossom into greatness as you fulfil your God-ordained purpose in that unfamiliar place.
See with the eyes of FAITH and let that obstacle be an opportunity to propel you into achieving outstanding accomplishments.
You are a child of purpose!
How do you see yourself in that unfamiliar environment?
Comments are welcome.
6 thoughts on “Finding Purpose in the Seasons of Life”
A beautiful analogy from an inspirational young lady. Thankyou for sharing. 💖
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Thanks for reading Heather.
wowww. …wonderful, I learned a lot on this article keep the fire burning virtuous woman.
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Thanks for reading Pastor Ken.
The Battle of the ‘Unfamiliar
Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.”
3Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. 5There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
May I first define the unfamiliar as the unacquainted, unaccustomed, unaware, unversed, unskilled, inexperienced etc. God in His divine power said I will deliver all these into your hands meaning they are going to resist anyone in his human ability, so God comes to our aid to see us through it all. Things that are greater than us and our human ability giving up at our demand. Monsters, wild dangerous and never seen or heard paths, people, issues of life, etc will be set into motion at our demand.
May I say that every promise of God has a condition attached in order for it to come to pass in our life, with assurance. ( Joshua 1:5B as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee) But how many of us are ready to take God by His word? Do I really belief Him? Sorry to ask myself that question after years in the church, either being a Sunday school teacher, pastor etc. The promise is “3Every place that the sole of my foot shall tread upon” meaning the known and unknown, in the sea or on the land, in the market or in the plane flying, in football or sleeping on the bed, at work or the the preaching of his word, in Okinawa or James Island in the Gambia. Wherever the sole of thy foot shall thread upon …………………
Joshua1:5A 5There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life. This is the assurance from all and every form of fear, intimidation, knowledge of the history of the unfamiliar or the unknown, the giants of the wilderness etc. It’s like sitting on top of an elephant, one would never care of the crawling snake below or the roaring lion. It’s like a man with a gun being threaten by a child with a knife. The assurance is who is carrying you, whose name and country passport do you possess. Will my guarantor stand for me or not? God will only bring us into these places because He knows He is the God of both the familiar and the unfamiliar and if we only dwell in the familiar without any challenging situation our faith may dwindle and others around us may never know the God we serve. Like we want to be known and famous greater than we ever thought He too want to be.
I was chatting with a friend I picked from the airport just this week and I ask her this question, how do you feel on your first day landing in our country? Or travelling from the west into Africa with the knowledge that you will be here for the next two years living among strangest people, land, culture, life style, language, color, etc. she said to me it was a real nightmare for me and my group but my greatest strength is in the country I came from, the promises or assurances I got from them before coming here. She continued to say that with all the challenges she faced in those really dark days, a chat with their team leader who did the two years term kept her going till date, and she made up her mind that if others can do it I will.
To the disappointment of her parents she just visited after two years of dedicated service to her government, who were thinking she would never be able to do six months, more so to love that foreign or unfamiliar land thousands of kilometers away from home, she called the strangers family in front of her parents, to their dismay. In her own words I can never omit Africa from my life. This is just one in several other testimonies of great achievements or victory in the mist of absolute darkness. Am talking of people born and brought up from the western most civilized nations and dumped in the least developed nation in Africa, without electricity, hot temperature, bad road networks, under developed, to name a few, still loving the environment and making great use of those challenges, facing them and their host communities.
Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
Some may think God didn’t see or feel the presence of Adam in the garden, when He called to ask; where are you Adam? but I am with the mind that God was giving Adam the opportunity to see the dilemma he had caged himself in, and if possible to find a way out for himself or seek for counselling etc. who do we turn to for help when heading to, or already in the unfamiliar? My friend told me she asked the opinion of someone who survived it, another said he had found a brother among the strangers, another a mother among the strangers, the list goes on. When lost in a big city who do you ask for directions? May i humbly make this statement from my eleven years of service with total strangers who had been relentlessly serving my country for over 50 years voluntarily; that the most successful of them always prevail over all forms of doubts, fears, stress, sickness and diseases, through their faith in their system, even though it’s not that perfect, the God they serve, even though they aren’t that religious, friends and relatives they had, even though they aren’t there always. If God may ask you today, where are you? What will be you answer? Are you going to give up after all the friends, bibles, books of inspirations, mothers, brothers, sisters, leaders you have in your life. Maybe He is expecting you to take over total control over your area of influence in the school, society, in your work place, market as you go shopping, or “every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon” and effect a change there. I am not saying I have accomplish this but the heat had open my eyes to see and hear the Lord tell me to focus on Him alone and all will be well with me, family, and ministry. Go pass the passive spectator to be the main player. Blessings to you all
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God blessings Peter.
Thanks so much for reading and contributing to this post.