My Story as a Foreigner in the UK, Before and After I Met Jesus18/04/2017
This is my story. Almost six years ago I was an immigrant trying to integrate into a country where I have never been before. I knew English but what I learned in school was very different to what I found here. God was with me all the time even if I didn’t know. He loved me and helped me in difficult times. He loved me so much that He wanted me to get close to Him. Almost six years later after I landed in the UK I encountered God’s love through Jesus Christ and my life changed. I am so grateful to God for what He had done and is doing in my life.
Culture Shock Phases
Soon after we moved to Southampton, in May 2011, I went through all four stages of culture shock that you read in books.
At the beginning, I was happy to be here and I loved everything in Southampton – the air, the shops, the parks, the history and the cruise ships. This phase, called The Honeymoon Stage, is when you are very excited to be in a new country and embrace their language, food and culture.
Soon after that, The Frustration Stage stepped in quickly. I was living in a new city without knowing anyone else than my husband, we were sleeping on the floor until we bought a bed, it was hard to get a job and British people didn’t get my accent. I learn English in school but some of the words I used were in an American accent and the British people just didn’t get it…
We moved to the UK with a Blue Card for Highly-Skilled Migrants, but I had low paid jobs. I wanted to work in PR or Communications, but I’ve been told I don’t have UK experience… My experience as PR Specialist in an Executive position and my diplomas (Bachelor Degree in Communications and Master Degree in Multimedia Production) didn’t count. They were assessed by UK NARIC but still didn’t matter.
My English was at Intermediate Level but I wanted to be Proficient so I paid for an intensive English course at Southampton Language School and I studied every day to get better.
After a few months of searching, I found a lovely business woman who believed a little bit in me and gave me a job… It wasn’t what I really wanted to do but I was able to use my skills and experience, so it wasn’t that bad. And I gained a few new skills too which was great. I enjoyed planning and organising events, and developing itineraries for businesses visiting the UK.
Just to summarise, for a few years I worked in events having roles under my qualifications and experience… I had colleagues working in similar roles that have just finished the college, without any experience or specialised studies… I enjoyed what I’ve done so I accepted this easily. You can be happy anywhere if you like what you do.
After I became more familiar with the British culture, my English improved and I settled down for a job, I went through what is called The Adjustment Stage.
Straight after that, The Acceptance Stage kicked in. I think it took six months more or less to get to this point. I was happy to live in Southampton, people started to get what I as saying, I embraced the British culture and local traditions and I started to make friends.
In March 2013 God blessed us with a beautiful healthy little girl. She’s a Romanian citizen by her parents (and have a Romanian surname), but English is her first language.
The Story Continues…
Fast forward to summer of 2015 when, being in a difficult position, I remembered about the film The Secret. Both, I and my husband, started to search for the teachers from the film and their theories. We spent thousands of hours, literally, reading and watching YouTube videos about the law of attraction and how to change your mindset, how to stop doing what you were doing and live differently. At that moment I understood how my mind works and how I can control my thoughts and I thought that this is the key to change my life…
This took me through a period of trials and errors (with more bad results than successes) until I realised that God is behind everything. He created the world and He created everything around us, He has a plan for us and we can find out the next steps if we talk to Him and listen to His directions.
Do Not Worry
Matthew 6:25-34, NIV
- God placed in me the desire to help other people, which gives me peace and joy.
- I am no longer worried because I have faith that God cares for my needs as the Bible says.
- God spoke to me. He said to Have Faith in Him and that He has better plans for me. I trust His Words and His promises.
- God blessed me with a loving family. My daughter said that Jesus loves her. How beautiful is this?
- I live where I believe God wants me to. He brought me to England and called me back to Southampton to receive Jesus when I moved to another city a few years ago.
- I moved to Egham, Surrey, where I believe God wants me to be. He made everything possible – a lovely house where we live, financial stability, a great church with a very gifted senior pastor (if you live around the area, visit Greater Life Church in Staines) and friendly people everywhere I go.
- I have a few friends who love me for who I am. One of them is a great lady who brought me to Jesus and helped me get closer to God.
- I enjoy writing and I published three books on Amazon that I am very proud of. At the moment I am writing an autobiography about my spiritual journey and my discussions with God which will be released hopefully soon.
- I have big plans for the future. God gave me the vision to open a Divine Healing Centre and I believe this will happen at some point. I don’t know when but the seed was planted and now I trust God to grow it and bear fruits. I want to see God’s healing power in action because I don’t want to see sick people. I believe God is good and I also believe He wants you healed. If you need a prayer for healing I would love to pray for you.
My spiritual journey was a roller coaster but I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful life living in God’s Love and Grace.