The thing that has surprised me most during my study abroad experience is my ability to rely on my faith.Back home, I think I’ve always been too independent and hard on myself. When faced with a problem, I would run around in circles trying to find a way to fix it. This habit did not transfer when I can to Japan largely because I am so unfamiliar with my surroundings and situation, that usually there was nothing I could do to fix the problem, so I had to entrust it to God.
This has now taught me to let go and let God work things out whenever I find myself faced with a situation I feel like I cannot handle. When I begin to worry or become afraid due to a given circumstance, whether that means getting lost in Japan or being unsure on how well prepared I am for a test, I just do my best and trust the rest to Him. Sometimes I panic at first, but after the initial shock wears off, I am able to face the challenges with a calm mind because I know He is in control.
This has also allowed me to get over daily disappointments quickly. This is a decided improvement from my usual dwelling on and overthinking them so that I end up making myself upset or thinking that someone is upset when they are not. He gives me the peace to let it go, knowing that it just was not meant to be.
Having the perspective that everything will work out, somehow, has also helped with my depression. Although being away from my family and friends has sometimes caused me to feel immense loneliness that spirals into depression, I know that God is with me through it and that it will not last forever. The depression will pass, I just need to wait it out and stay positive.