Repatriation is tough. If only it were as easy as strolling across a bridge. Looking from a different perspective, however, the challenges can help remind you to rely on God in both the good and the bad circumstances.
In Part 1 of “3 Things I’ve Learned From Repatriation,” I shared three lessons. Part 2 here will discuss three more lessons.
1. Trust in His Immutability
Be prepared for a reverse cultural shock. You were away for a number of years, so your passport country, including your friends, will have changed during that time. And the gap between reality and your expectations for your passport country might be huge.
I had to adapt to my passport country during my first repatriation because the country had changed significantly over eight years. I struggled to grieve for the changes, the life I had missed out on, and the life I could not return to.
And it’s okay to mourn for this. Remember, you have an unchanging God by your side.
“For I am the LORD, I change not.” Malachi 3:6a KJV
2. Trust in His Goodness
Despite wanting every step of your repatriation to execute smoothly, there are bound to be situations that will veer off of your map of expectations, heading onto rough terrains. Be careful not to set your plans above God’s. Although the path ahead may be unknown, His ways are higher than yours (Isa. 55:8–9).
The unexpected situation – no matter how surprising and undesirable it is – is expected by God. And when your ride takes you down to a terrible ravine, plunging you into darkness, please continue to believe that God is good. Because He’s always good.
“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:5 KJV
The transition period is one of many ways where your faith gets tested. It is where you choose to either draw nigh to God and thrust your weakness unto His strength, or push Him away.
3. Trust in His Grace and Mercies
Repatriation can be tougher than you think it is. Some people push themselves and overestimate what they can do.
They then make mistakes, sin, and say words they regret. Afterwards, they beat themselves up over it or hold grudges against others for their wrongdoing. Although repatriation is tough, it doesn’t justify our wrong actions, and it doesn’t mean we should drown ourselves in self-guilt or hold resentment.
Instead, abide in the grace and mercies of Jesus Christ. Because of His blood, He has forgiven you. And as His child, forgive others and yourself.
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14–15 KJV
What I’ve Learned in Two Words
I could continue with more lessons, but these three, as well as the three in the previous article, are the main truths I’ve learned. And I admit, I need to remind myself of them often. If you haven’t noticed – which I’m certain you have – the commonality I found from all of them was these two words:
How about you? If you’ve experienced repatriation, what lessons has God taught you from it?
If you are going through repatriation currently, what lessons from this series have encouraged you?