Why learning a new language is a lot like dating someone…

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1. It’s all about communication.

2. It can really interfere with your social life.

3. Some days, it feels like you’re really understood. Other days, you wonder if you’re even speaking the same language?!

4. When you start out, you don’t even know what the end result will be. How far will this go? How long will it take?

5. Sometimes it’s not the words that throw you off, it’s what’s behind the words.

6. It’s a commitment. In other words, it’s a lot of work!

7. You wonder all the time how this will shape your future.

8. It’s like putting together a puzzle…one piece at a time.

9. It makes going out a lot more fun.

10. Sometimes it takes courage just to keep walking forward.

This was just for fun, but can I just say, God is teaching me a whole lot through this whole learning-Thai thing? Especially about commitment and surrendering the end result to Jesus. It’s number 10 that I keep thinking about as I finish my first month of Thai this week. To be honest, it surprises me how little I can speak and understand after almost 40 hours of language study. I feel like I’m chipping away at this monstrous boulder, and when I look down to see how far I’ve gotten, I can only see shavings of progress.

But God is faithful, and even though it’s hard, I am loving the process. It is an unbelievable blessing to have friends to go to Thai class with, and it is totally a work of God that I even have time in my schedule to fit in two hours of this a day. So it’s very clear to me that this is what God has given me to do right now, and I know that He has great plans to use it. Why or how, I’m not sure, but even if it’s just to teach me things and to open doors of relationship with this culture I’ve grown to love, then it’s worth it to me.

Yesterday, I was meeting with my dear friends, Karly and Catherine, and we talked about language stuff, among other things. Karly told us about her struggles when she was learning Spanish fluently in Spain. It’s just plain hard, but knowing that you’re meant to do it is the best weapon we have against giving up. In the end, we all agreed, we’ve just got to fully embrace what God has placed before us, whatever it is — a language, a relationship, a job — trusting that He knows where it’s leading.

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