Success is defined by performance. Faithfulness is defined by constancy. Success is defined by accomplishment. Faithfulness by devotion. Success is defined by achievement. Faithfulness by commitment. Success is defined by attaining a goal. Faithfulness by being true to a promise. As long as we posed the question “How do we redefine success?” we were still coming out as losing. We felt like failures. But changing it to “Are we being faithful?” This felt and continues to feel helpful.
It has not been an easy week here in Kurdistan.
From difficulty with websites to difficulty with people, there are times when I would like life to be easier.
I’m sitting now at one of the two coffee shops in Rania, listening to Adele on repeat. Adele is easy on the ears, and I find myself gradually relaxing. Just before I left the university today, I spoke with two colleagues. “I don’t know how you do it” I said. “You face barriers in every single thing you do, and yet you don’t give up. You continue to face life with hope, joy, and laughter.”
This is the honest truth. Most of our Kurdish friends have life circumstances that are far more difficult than ours. Yet I don’t hear them complaining. They face every day with far more joy and hope than I have. This is remarkable.
Much of what my husband and I face here is learning to redefine success. Success at our jobs in the United States was easy to define. We had deliverables and performance reviews. We had deadlines and targets.