Struggle bussing. I’m not sure where this term started, but it has very much been a part of the Sarah Ross vernacular for quite some time. I think for me it started while I was the director of a daycare and preschool. It started because being a two-year-old is a struggle. I mean, think about it: two-year-olds are super awkward. They have incredible moments of being cute that are usually followed by a meltdown because they wanted the fat blue crayon, not the skinny blue crayon. They can tell you they pooped in their pants but can’t manage to sit down at a toilet long enough to get the hang of it. Two-year-olds were the very definition of struggle bussing for me. Until I moved to another country. Then my life became a struggle bus!
Please don’t misunderstand me; I love my life. I love Quito, Ecuador. I love the people all around me, but I live in a culture where I just don’t fit, and that causes some serious struggle bussing. This month, I will have lived here in Quito for two and a half years, and it dawned on me this morning that most days I still feel like one of my former struggle-bussing two-year-olds. For instance, I can finally communicate my needs—then a taxi driver doesn’t understand my directions. Seriously, last week I said the same word of the sector of town I wanted to go to twenty times, and finally on the twentieth time, he says, “Oh you mean Carcelen.” I knew what I meant, and it was what I said. Ugh. And while I don’t have any issues going to the restroom like two-year-olds, I do consistently forget to get my toilet paper before going into the public restroom stall. At least I always carry some extra in my purse! So, yes, life as an expat can just feel like an eternal trip on the struggle bus.
Lately though, I have noticed this struggle bus I am on is more than just living and working in another cultural context outside of my home cultural context. I have been on the struggle bus about almost everything for the last six months or so. I originally came to Ecuador on a contract for two years, but God is keeping me here indefinitely. The simple fact that I lost control of an end date has made the last six months or so very hard. I have been on the struggle bus because I want a timeline and I want to control that timeline.
So the reason I have been on the struggle bus lately is because I have decided to sit down and wallow in the struggle, and I am sick of it. It finally occurred to me this week that the reason for the struggle is that I am not living a life of surrender, a life of freedom. I no longer want to feel chained (even if it is by my own doing) to the struggle bus. I want the sweetness of surrender.
Therefore, every day in the month of September, I will be letting go of something I have been trying to control that has only led to the struggle bus. And I just wonder if any of you would like to join me? Are you gripping onto control that is leading you to be stuck on the struggle bus? Would you like to get sweet surrender back in your life? Well, if you like, you can join me for a month of surrender in September. Just follow along on social media and remember to #strugglebussurrender with me. Share your struggles, and I will be there to support and pray with you about surrendering them.