Live to the Hilt | Be All There

Reflection from Christianhavn

"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt of every situation you believe to be the Will of God." - Jim Eliot

A sweet friend gave me "Let me Be a Woman" by Elisabeth Eliot and ever since reading the quote above in her book, I have taken it to heart as my mantra to live by here in Denmark. It's hard to believe but I have been here in Denmark for three weeks now. It feels like the time has gone by so fast, but at the same time, so much has happened in the past three weeks. I'm almost finished with my beginner level Danish class, I've visited my Danish family and taught them how to play Apples to Apples, I've fallen off my bike numerous times and just shouted "Sorry I'm American!" , I've eaten more pastries and have drank more coffee than one can count, I've become a pro at navigating København, I've learned how to play Call of Duty and skateboard, and I've spent lots of quality time laughing and talking in Danish with my host family. However, I still do not feel anchored in København yet; I have not called it my home.

Velkommen til Ribe
For the first few weeks I struggled to find my place within København. I couldn't interact with the Danes very well since I didn't speak Danish but at the same time I had different goals than the international students that I met through Danish class. My goals are defined more in this and this post but in short they are to become fluent in Danish, make deep relationships with both Danish and international people and embrace adulthood. I'd love to maybe come back and do my Ph. D here in Denmark which means I am working really hard to understand, speak, read, and think Danish every day. I want to develop deep relationships with people who I can solve the world's problems with rather than go out partying every night but I have yet to find those people who share the same goal as I do. I also want to figure out how to adult through making my own decisions and not going along with the crowd.

Town of Ribe
I've strived to distance myself from Facebook and what everyone else back home is doing so that I can focus and concentrate on where God has placed me and who He has put in my path to become friends with and spend time with. I want to live to the hilt of where I am! I will admit it has been lonely. Back home I spend a lot of time with my friends whether it be studying with them, laughing at stupid videos, or having deep spiritual conversations. Here however, I don't have a strong friend group yet and I think that is one reason I have yet to call København home. I don't feel anchored. More and more, however, I come closer to calling Denmark my home.

Just today, I got to spend time with some international students in the graveyard where H.C. Andersen is buried; it is actually a beautiful graveyard! As we sat in a circle talking about the Danish language course and how we are all struggling but enjoying the language at the same time, I looked around and realized how different yet similar we all were. Within our circle there were five different countries represented: Israel, Germany, Hong-Kong, Turkey and America. We all grew up with different backgrounds and worldviews, yet we could all speak English together and we realized that chocolate is literally almost the exact same word in all of our languages. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by the beauty of the graveyard and be able to talk about our cultures and what life is like for us in our country. It truly was a picture of what I hope my time in København will be like.

Church in Ribe
That is living to the hilt of where I am. It is throwing away all of my pre-conceived notions about what I think my time here will look like and my plans and my need to know the schedule and need to be in control and giving it to God to use for his glory and his will. It is talking with strangers on the train who help me figure out where to go, it is taking last minute trips to see my family, it is going out of my way to meet others and build relationships with them even if it is in a graveyard! It has not been easy at all and it has been a lonely path thus far, but every day God is giving me more and more grace and I am so excited to see what the rest of the semester has in store!


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