As the end of this is drawing near, I have been thinking about some of the things I have learned. Obviously it would be impossible to put everything I have learned into words, but I want to try to do a few posts articulating what I can. The generosity that has been shown to me has been incredible. When I think about my life a year ago, I was about to walk across the stage and end my four year chapter at Wake Forest. I tearfully said goodbye to wonderful friends, had a few fun summer adventures, then said some more sad goodbyes and moved to the sticks of Germany. Alone and without knowing the language. I could have never imagined what my life would look like today.
One thing that has really struck me, especially being a person who is constantly guilty of being selfish, is the generosity of others. It really has been amazing to see the people, most of whom I did not know, bend over backwards to welcome me.
...You were roommates with my friend's mom in college? Sure, thank you for having me over for Thanksgiving, taking me grocery shopping, and constantly opening your home to me.
I am your son's teacher? Yes, I'd love to come over for countless home cooked meals.
Yes, I was casually friends with your daughter at Wake. Thank you for taking us in for a weekend, pampering us, and showing us all around Belgium.
You are a stranger at the next table, but you heard us comment on how delicious the fondue looked. You really did not have to buy one and send it over to us, but we'll take it!
Yes, I have friends in town from America and I have to work. Want to take them hiking all over Odenwald? You are too kind....
These are just a few examples of how people have reached out to me, welcomed me, and taken away my feelings of loneliness. It really has been neat to see so many people, whether they know it or not, be incredible examples of God's love for me this year. Kindness seems so much more meaningful to a person who is isolated in a foreign country, and I will never forget how wonderful it felt to have so many people reach out to me.