Saturday, January 27, 2007

I need a breather

Need to unload. Been feeling so pressurized lately. Isn´t it such that when you are settling into a new environment, you´re supposed to be patient with yourself, give yourself time to adapt, learn a new language, start to feel more "homely" in a place that is still foreign to you? Ever since I came to Germany, I´ve been bombarded by people giving me "advice" eg. "You should speak german at home, watch german TV, do this do that etc..... "Honestly, I know they mean well, but isn´t it such that I should know myself better at what pace to learn and how BEST I learn? I DON´T learn best when I´m FORCED to do things that people "advice" me to do! If I want to speak english at home and give myself time to get more comfortable or used to speaking german, what does it matter to others? Or if I have made a decision not to have a TV at home, for the fact that I honestly believe TV is a waste of time and I have been living without a TV for 5 years already, what does it matter to others? I´ve only been in germany for 5 months and I´m the one in my german class who has been in Germany for the shortest time and I can honestly say that I´m either the best if not the 2nd best in class - the other lady better than me has been in Germany for 5 years.

Plus, its not only well-meaning individuals giving me so much pressure. Its also the church. Stephan and I have been cell-leaders about 2 months after I moved to Germany. Main reason: We prayed about it and felt that God was giving us the green light to do it. 3 months into it and I really enjoy it and love the youths and am so excited for what God has in store for them. But on the adverse side of it, I´ve been pressurized into going for the "Believer´s course- a compulsory course for people who want to be members of the church" and also this "Leader´s course". I have no problem about going for them, except that I simply don´t understand german at a pace that I can learn properly without translation. I can survive sometimes without translation, but that comes only with lots of concentration and focus and then again, it depends on the pastor or the person speaking also. Yah, so what happens, I´m here for 5 months and cell leader for 3 months and suddenly I´m pressurized again to go for this course and that course. Nobody cares if I´m struggling to understand or that I want to get the most of the course, that´s why I would rather wait for a while, say next year before I go for full-100% german courses without translation!

And the thing I absolutely hate, is when people tell me "Oh, I was in a similar situation as you when I had to speak a foreign language etc: When I went to this country and that country for exchange of whatever and you should do this, or that etc etc." I didn´t want to tell them, "Honestly, the main difference btw you and me is that you didn´t have to learn a completely new language from STRATCH when you are working... and till now, I´ve only been learning german full-time for 4 months!. These people have been learning their "foreign" languages since they were 10 or 12 years old??!? I mean, i´m sure if I went to China where I had to speak mandarin, I would be able to adapt so much faster and speak mandarin at home for the fact that I learnt it in school and for so many years! OMG. Plus, the people who keep sharing from their experience, simply don´t realize the pressure and struggle of settling into a completely NEW country FOR GOOD FOR NOW. I´m sure I would be so much able to deal with the language if I knew that I would be in Germany for like what 5 years? At least, I have an arbitrary number of years to look forward to going back to Singapore. No, I don´t have that! I need to give myself and my heart time to uncleave from Singapore and cleave to Germany. Does anybody really know what a big step it is? No! All people see is that I have a language barrier and I need to work on it as fast as possible. What God sees is that I´m adapting and settling into a brand new culture, home, calling etc etc etc.

And to top off the entire ice-cream, it was my mom´s death anniversary a few days ago. I thought I was ok but I thought wrong. I had such a vivid dream of Mom again last night and though it was quite a funny dream about she and Dad having a "lively" discussion, I really woke up feeling the pinch of losing her again, as if it was yesterday. That´s so crap man.

I just need people to listen to me! Not to give me advice of what´s good or what´s not. What worked for them, may not work for me simply because I´m NOT THEM! I struggle so much with the language already, what I need is affirmation and encouragement that I´m putting in so much effort into this language already. Someone to motivate me rather than keep telling me how much more I need to do, what courses I need to take. Give me a break. I´m a human being, not a human Doer, or a human machine. If God doesn´t push me and gives me all the time I need to adjust, why should people who don´t even know me properly tell me otherwise? I want to ENJOY my process of settling in! I don´t want to put into the microwave and come out instantly-cooked! I want to ENJOY the baking process! Gosh!


Diana said...

Hi Pris, I am Diana, Joshua's wife. We met in the church camp and I still have vivid (nice) memories of you and Stephan as we chatted over meals and sat together once or twice during the sessions.

I chanced upon your blog as I go to the Dierden's quite often these days since they left.

I read yr accounts of how life has been the last few months. It must have been tough. I dont know if I will be able to cope as well as you have been if I were in a foreign land away from family and friends. Just wanna encourage you and tell you that I think you're doing a great job! - learning a new lang from scratch, whipping up new dishes, making new friends, etc!!!

I guess losing a loved one at any age is painful. My mum went home to be with the LORD 7 years ago. I wish she was around to see me get married 5 years ago and see her grandchildren. It was very much her desire. When I gave birth to my daughter, Emma, I felt so lost and struggled with the fact that I didn't have my mum by my side or to give me advice when I felt helpless. But the LORD was gd (HE still is!), He gave me friends to help and support me thro that v diff period.

Pardon me if I had taken the liberty to share more than I should. Just want to encourage you that the LORD sees the efforts you've put in and He will honour yr heart.

Bless you,

ai ling said...

Hi Pris!

Yah I agree with Diana, you're really doing very well... learning to cope and rely on the Lord. You're an inspiration to many. Proud of you and Stephan! Hang in there and we love you and are praying for you okie? Hugs...

Anonymous said...

Hi Pris, just read your enteries... miss reading your blog. Pris, just want you to know that you are an amazing woman in my eyes and all that you do with such courage and faith is an inspiration! You are so unique and special (you are my role model in taking on new challenges!)... a real bull-dozer sometimes but I know you have your tough moments cos you are a human being and not a human machine (yes, you put it correctly!)... thanks so much for being honest with your humanity... love you for that...

God bless you dear sister... please know that you are so precious to many of us in Singapore. We can only read from your blog and cheer you on from here but please know that you have a large support team here k! Go Pris!


Priscilla Tews said...

Hi diana
Hey, I typed a super long reply, but blogger swallowed it up before I could post it! So typing a 2nd time.

Firstly, thanks so much for yr heart-warming response! Its so encouraging that the 1st reply I got to my post was from u! Woo-hoo. Spiritual warrior! Heehee. Stephan and I remember u of cos! And little Emma too! How´s she? And of cos P. Joshua - how´s he dealing with the bereavement?

Thanks so much for sharing yr life with me. Its inspiring to see that you´re in a similar situation and u´re still able to bring up Emma without yr materal mother. I have that fear too, realized that childbirth wld be one of the significant moments when I would miss my mom lots.

I really love yr comments. Pls pls share more ok? U got a blog also? Realized that havin a blog is the easiest to keep in touch.

God bless, Pris

Priscilla Tews said...

HI Ailing!
Thks for yr comment and encouragement too. I´m thankful to be able to keep in touch with u even from a far distance and share yr life, via MSN and yr blog too! Can´t wait to see Sophie in real life u noe! Wah, still so long later....

Priscilla Tews said...

Hi dear Jen!
Thanks for yr words of encouragement! I´m thankful to have so much spiritual and practical support and encouragement from Singapore. I´m getting better with the adapting. Join me in bull-dozing leh! Come come! Heehee, Cecilia has jumped on the wagon too! Heehee. Miss u lots. When can we talk again?

diana said...

Dearest Pris, i'm no spiritual warrior. On the contrary, i'm very weak and human, often falling short in many ways. But I'm really thankful that God is gracious.

When you become a mummy next time, we'll be behind you and cheering you on.

Btw, I had meant to ask you if you were ever with Youth For Christ Singapore before becos' i've found you quite familar all thie while. Anyways... keep writing k?


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