Language learning is like climbing a mountain that just rises higher and higher into the clouds. You work hard, and you make progress, but the mountain just stretches ahead of you, and you still can't see the top. Sometimes you have times when the path is not so steep... it may even have a gentle down hill and you get to relax and enjoy view. They're the bits when you can see the progress that you've made and you can enjoy the way that you can communicate. But other times it's just hard slog and you can't see the progress at all.
I'm in one of the "hard slog" phases at the moment, so that colours everything that I say.
I'm frustrated and cross that I'm not understanding Spanish as well as I expect to and want to. We've been here for almost a year, and I've run out of patience with not understanding.
Those who know me will know that I'm a firm believer in solving problems. One way to solve the problem is to learn Spanish! Now given that I'm working on that, but the problem remains, I need another solution.
Today I realised something for the first time. My frustration is due to poor communication, but also, due to wrong expectations and unmet wants. If I change those wants and expectations, I can reduce my frustration, and that's got to help.
If I really trust God, I will trust that he is equipping me to do the job that he wants me to do. If I'm not able to converse easily in Spanish at the moment, it's because that's the way God wants me right now. God's ways and God's timing won't always match what we think is best, but they will always be best.
I need to pray that God will give me patience. Patience to trust in His timing. Patience to throw out unrealistic expectations and accept the way has God has equipped me now. Patient when I don't understand people. Patience to trust that he we use me with all my inadequacies in Spanish. Patience to keep working hard at learning and practicing. Patience to keep looking for ways to love and serve people just as I am now.
And courage is needed for all those things too!