I have really started to struggle with my ear. If you read the post that I wrote about a week ago, you know that I was quite sick for a while and lost the hearing in my right ear. Well, all of my antibiotics are gone, and the ear infection seems to be gone as well. However, I still only have between 5-10% of my hearing in this ear. Also, though the continuous pain and pressure disappeared with the infection, several times a day I get periodic burst of sharp pain deep down in my ear. I should be returning to the doctor early next week to have her flush my ear, but I can’t help but wonder if this might not actually bring my hearing back. Two weeks of only having half my hearing has really started to get me. I am struggling to follow lectures in my classes, I have missed two weeks of time at the orphanage, I constantly have to ask people to repeat themselves in conversations, I must smile and nod as if I understand in group conversations because those are impossible, it has become even more difficult to learn Lithuanian, and I’m tired of spastically jerking my hand up to grasp my ear every time it feels like it has just burst. As I reached the point of tears today thinking about all of this, I came to realize something: the affect that this has on my life all depends on the perspective I decide to take on it. I was talking with one of my new study abroad friends named Natalie and, after verbalizing all my emotions, realized how negatively I had started to think. Natalie helped me clear up my feelings so I could gain the correct perspective on my current situation. Sure, I cannot bring my hearing back, but I can choose how I deal with not having it. It all goes back to my last post about keeping a consistent view of Who God is. God still keeps His promises. He is still all-sufficient. He is still all-knowing, all-powerful, loving, and the same God He has always been. This means that He is still big enough to take care of my ear, whether I ever get my hearing back or not. Maybe there has been permanent damage and the doctor will not be able to restore my hearing, but even if that proves to be the case, God is God and I can still choose to make the most of every day in Him. How silly it is for me to be afraid of losing my hearing when I have a God who is always looking out for me. I have so much to be thankful for, even if I never hear in my right ear again! It all depends on how I look at it.
In Social Psychology today, we discussed stereotypes and prejudices. At the end of class, I realized that being here in Lithuania is the first time I have ever been in the out-group of the general population. Being a white, middle-class, educated female in America means that I have always been in the in-group of Midwest American population. I’ve never really known what it feels like to be discriminated against or negatively stereotyped on a large scale. Now I am in the out-group and there are plenty of negative stereotypes flying around about Americans. For the most part, I have not received any negative treatment as a result, but it has nonetheless given me a new perspective…and I am beyond thankful for it. This has been a wonderful reminder that skin color, hair color, education level, nationality, personality type, economic standing, athletic ability, native language, and the natural volume of your voice does not define any of us. Our identity, every single person on this planet, is in the fact that we are all children of God. Even beyond that, we are all made in HIS image. Not only does this make us each incredibly and equally beautiful, but it speaks to the nature of God…it shows how big He is. This gives me another new perspective on people, God, and myself.
Well, those are the two biggest updates I have tonight. I have more that I would like to write, but I am trying to keep from making every single post into a novel! So, I am going to call this one good. Thank you again for reading and taking an interest in what I am doing and learning over here in Easter Europe. I hope you were able to learn a little bit about perspectives with me today.
And… because I haven’t been updating your Lithuanian vocabulary in the last few posts, here’s some new words for you: karštas (hot), šokoladas (chocolate)....put them together and BOOM.... a delicious warm beverage. At least, if you are in the US it should be delicious. Actual karštas šokoladas here (in my opinion) isn’t very good. That’s why I asked my mom to bring me some packets when she came to Dublin. I made one today. :)