To Be Content – by Sophia Davis

To Be Content..
Cross-cultural adjustment is always a very interesting process. For me, no matter how many times I have gone through it, I am always surprised when I least expect it and there are amazing joys coupled with understating challenges. Whether it’s Nigerians, fellow expats or friends/family from home, people are continuously asking me how I am liking Nigeria. My response, overall it has been a very positive experience, but no experience whether in America, India, or any other part of the world comes without challenges.

Africa was initially a place that scared me. No matter how many times people told me I would “love it here” there is always the moment of “yes, I think you are right” mirrored with an underlying uncertainty and unfamiliarity. Whenever we are unfamiliar with something there is always an insecurity of uncertainty that can cloud our minds and vision. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines insecurity as, “not confident or sure; not adequately guarded or sustained; not firmly fastened or fixed; not highly stable or well-adjusted; deficient in assurance beset by fear and anxiety.” Generally I would not say that I am an insecure person, however I am learning that maybe insecurity can be a good aspect (at times, not always) because it can humble us beyond ourselves. To be humble is, “not proud or not assertive; reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of submission.” As a Christian I am always taught to humble myself, but how often do we understand what that actually means or are fully willing and able to walk in it?

My emotions in Nigeria alternate between two extremes and rarely am I at a place of a contending medium. Today I feel like I have reached that medium. I had a challenging week but on Thursday I was reminded of Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rules of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore we take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Christ gave us the power to stand and to find peace in Him. He has given us the assurance that conquers fear and insecurity.

I am looking out at the Lagosian Sea and I feel content. Content because despite the insecurity, I have found humility and I am learning how to become more of the person whom I strive to be. It is said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough, and the dreams that are in Nigeria are big enough to challenge anybody. I’ve learned the key to sustainable transition is to not get stuck in the challenges but enable the challenges to motivate you towards effectiveness through humility, remaining steadfast in amplified visions of hope.