Lessons Away From Home

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In February 2016 at the age of 20, I departed my home in Perth to move to Sydney. I NEVER thought I would leave home, like ever. I had told my mum that when I grew up, I’d live next door to her and adopt 12 babies from Africa (and not be married, because boy germs ugh). So apart from “never say never”, here are some things I have learnt in my 2 years away from home.

1.     Learning to drive in a new city is scary!

Honestly, the biggest culture shock for me moving across the country was driving. The traffic, oh the traffic! And why so many speed cameras? And why tolls? I don’t want to PAY to drive on a road that is not an enjoyable experience to be on in the first place! I drove to the airport for the first time about 21 months after moving. I studied the maps, wrote out directions in case the internet died, got advice from all my friends, played Holy Spirit music and prayed the entire way. Kudos to people who do this in an entirely different country…

2.     Adulting is expensive.

The first time I received our electricity and gas bill, I went home, turned off all lights and appliances and seriously considered if I could do a raw food diet and cold showers (I couldn’t).
*Side note: Woolworths Rewards is the greatest loyalty program ever. It’s free, you earn points every time you shop and you get $10 off every 2000 points! You just don’t lose! They send me emails with special offers JUST FOR ME! It’s so exciting! 

3.     Jesus is my comfort.

When you’re away from home, it’s easy to feel unease without your usual surrounding and comforts. For me it’s my family and the sense of familiarity. So when you take those things away, you truly learn and realise that Jesus is your one true comfort. He has been my absolute peace and provider. Unfortunately in the space of 12 months I’ve been to hospital 3 times. I can feel quite anxious around all things medial, so to not have my mum and not be in a familiar environment or have any control over a situation is terrifying. But Jesus has proven time and time again, He’s all I need.

4.     Church is family.

I had never belonged to a different church other than with my family. My parents were the Pastors of our church so I was used to being in the know about everything! Being a visitor for the first time was strange! But I can testify that when you’re in the house of God, you’ve always got family! I love the ‘C3 DNA’ that runs through our churches all over the world… I’ll always feel at home and with family.

5.     God’s dreams are always bigger.

I found an old journal from when I was about 8 years old. It said, “What are your dreams” I responded, “To be a kindy teacher and open an orphanage in Africa”.
The next question was “Would you be able to let go of your dreams if God asked you to?” I responded, “Yes, but I don’t see how it could get any better”.
Oh honey, it really does get better. Dream big, because God’s plans are ALWAYS bigger! He has turned my world upside down with new dreams, new visions and expectations.  

So, if you’re about to face something new let me reassure you…

Stepping into the unknown and unfamiliar is an opportunity to become a bigger person, see a bigger God and live a bigger life. God is constant. No matter where you go or what you battle, He is with you.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

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About Emily Mason

Emily works as the Service Producer for C3 Sydney. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Media & Communications and Social Psychology. Emily studied Leadership & Ministry at C3 College in 2016, and this year is studying Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy. Emily serves in Young Adults with the worship team and as a girls connect group leader. Emily loves all things creative and wants to influence the church with her passion for the arts.

Instagram: @emilyrmason