I asked this question on my Facebook wall this week and had some great and, yet some predictable answers from Christians. My other friends were mostly quiet, other than a joke or two. I guess I was asking myself that question, not wanting to be predictable. When circumstances in life become overwhelming and you have to just keep going, but eventually, this question seems to surface in some way or another.
Life is so much more than yesterday. Tomorrow has not yet come. What I have is now. I am thankful for all my yesterdays because without them, I wouldn’t be what I am today. The losses and gains of yesterday- all make this moment possible.
And in this moment, I feel profound loneliness. Living so far from my family al these years in Africa, has created a chasm greater and longer than I could have imagined. It is a longing that has never left me. Yet, I have been given the riches of the most special kind of life, family, and of friendship. People have reached out to us. in times of crisis, in times of joy, and in times of just living life. Families are complex things. Does anyone ever really have their expectations met through family members? From Generations before and those to follow, unwanted records are kept of our inconstancies and failures. Heart wounds sometimes never heal and are most raw when felt by a close loved one. To me, it has been part of the “calling”, to leave all and follow where God leads. We did that, but there has been a price, a price we were willing to make. The cost has been great, not only to me, but to my mother, father, sister and brother. Not to mention, the multitude of extended relatives I hold dear, including a 97 year old grandma in Texas! I love them and I miss them a lot of the time. I long for that phone call for no reason, that quick “pop-in” surprise visit.
As a Christian, I also have a family that surpasses my own genetic connections, though treasured and loved. I also have people in my life that don’t believe like me, but they have been there for me and their hearts are good. Better sometimes than those who carry the title of Christian. Of course, I want all my friends to know God like I know Him, feel His love like I have. To really know what it is to have a purpose in this life that outlives us.
If I figure it out, I will sure let you know! As I write, my house is quiet. It has turned into another day by the clock striking 12. Besides the noise of the Eland walking around the fence, the hippo grunting as he grazes in the grass nearby, and the sound of the jet’s night flight overhead on its way to Joburg, and the humming of my fan that I need to lull me to sleep, I know this one thing. I may feel lonely, but I am not alone. I may miss my loved ones, but they are still my loved ones. I may not know the direction my 4 children will take, but I do know that they have an imperfect family, but they have a family that loves them and is there for them in their parents. I would move heaven and earth to be there for my kids. They will never be able to say otherwise. As my boys once watched Anne of Green Gables and saw the fiery red-headed Meagan Follows in a rage for her cause and her mistakes, they all looked at each other and said, “Oh my gosh, that’s our mom!” Between being called Scarlet O’Hara for my fiery temper and Lucille Ball for the messes I find myself in, I think at one point, I might need some help! Well, I have received lots of it from lots of people through the years. In the lonely times, I just have to remember those are the very people who were there for me. Family, friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers. Through a house fire, stage 4 cancer in my husband, kids’ crises time and again, I have never been alone. God is so real, so present and you know what? He has loved me and been there for me-through-you, the people in my life. He wraps His great arms of love around me when I need it most, through a smile, a hug, a special note.
I am grateful for you. Grateful for the kindness expressed through each “like”, each comment, each thought. Perhaps I have scratched the surface as the clock strikes 12 in the darkness of my room. I don’t feel so alone now. Life without others in it, is no life at all. Go and find someone today who you can touch with whatever you find yourself able to give. I promise you, it not only feels good, it feels great! It abolishes loneliness and ushers in a connection with another human being and even, God. He is so creative to love us through others. Be that other today. And after you do-come back and share it with me, will you? People need to know how to do it-its simple-so DO IT!
*Photos from Photobucket