In the past month, I’ve consumed more oranges than I probably have in my entire life. No joke. After every meal here, my host family and I have an orange for ‘dessert.’ Where’s the cupcakes? Where are the delicately dusted donuts? Where is dessert??? Okay, dessert rants aside, it’s been a very ‘fruity’ time here.
I don’t mind, though. The fruits here are amazingly sweet and rich. The United States’ version of fruit is a pitiful excuse in comparison to the burst of flavor each fruit here contains. However, I'm not really writing to talk about the fruit here. I feel called to write, this week, about the fruits of the Spirit.
I've grown in a lot of ways since I arrived January 4. I have a 15–20 minute walk to campus everyday, and I’ve begun listening to sermons by one of my favorite preachers, Joyce Meyers. The particular series I’ve been going through lately has been on Ephesians, but she’s been peppering each sermon with a lot about the fruits of the Spirit, too.
Studying abroad, while a truly eye-opening experience, is not all the bells and whistles that it seems like at the start. A lot can, and does, go wrong. It's frustrating and lonely at times. However, I’m trying to look on the bright side of the negatives and reflect on what God’s been teaching me through this study abroad experience. If you’re thinking about studying abroad, I recommend bringing a journal—it’s helped me immensely to process all that God is teaching me. My other tip is to make sure you let God teach you. It’s all too easy to get frustrated and disappointed from all the setbacks that occur. Learn. Humble yourself. Grow. That’s what I’m trying to do. It may be imperfect and messy, but that’s what Christianity is. So here they are, the five main fruits God’s been working on in my life. I challenge you to reflect and ask yourself, “What fruits am I growing now, too?”