Hubby and I joke that our marriage is cross-cultural. South unites with North. (Yes, the jokes that could be inserted here are endless.)
The first few years we really did have a lot of learning to do. I taught My Love that cooking didn’t equal frying everything or adding bacon grease. He taught me that Red Lobster is not real sea food. I started saying “ya’ll.” (It really does kinda roll off the tongue without one thinking about it.) He learned to drive in the snow. This list also could be endless.
After 13 years of marriage, I thought I had become one with the South proven by the fact that I have grits in my pantry and I know how to cook cornbread with real grease. Then we moved to the South.
The special at the supermarket…..catfish. I don’t know how to cook catfish!!! Everyone knows everyone and my children all of a sudden are calling me Ma’am, wanting to hunt and drinking sweet tea. To top it off, I am pretty sure the accent that is forming in my very Asian looking daughter can only be referred to as…..I don’t know – Southern.
I prepared for and expected culture shock in Asia. Southern small town culture shock has taken me by surprise.
I was telling a good friend about our move and the transitions that I was needing to make – again. I was having a “I miss China day” and looking for a bit of sympathy for my tired old self who doesn’t want to keep moving from place to place. Her reply, “It is who you are not where you are that matters.”
I needed those words.
I have a calling to fulfill. I can be about His work while eating Chinese dumplings or chicken ‘n’ dumplings. The place shouldn’t matter. What does matter is my willingness to love those around me well. I need to open myself up to new experiences and new relationships so that God can show me what plan He has for me in this place.
I learned to eat with chopsticks. I can learn how to fry catfish.