Saturday, April 16, 2016

Feeling alone

That moment when you feel like you are all alone.  People speaking a language you don't understand, eating food you don't know, wearing clothes that don't feel natural.  You don't have a car, take showers with a hose, cook on a stove you don't get, and with food you aren't sure about.  Only wear dresses or skirts, eat and breath sweat, with electricity that is questionable at best.  Can't even figure out where to throw your trash, how to get rid of the flying cockroaches, and the deadly mosquitoes.  Water is deadly, snakes that can kill, and microbes that want to invade your body.  No transportation, 6-8 time zones away from those you love, stores that are closed for half the day, and food that costs more than in the States. 

The reality of missions.  We read books and watch movies, and it all seems so glamorous.  Even our time in Honduras seemed like it was "easy."  But reality has struck...the honeymoon is over...we have been told more than once, "Equatorial Guinea chews up missionaries and spits them out."  No one stays.  Africa is no joke.   

Galadriel:   “You are a ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a ring of power is to be alone. This task was appointed to you. And if you do not find a way, no one will.”—The Fellowship of the Ring

When Frodo says he cannot accomplish his task on his own, Galadriel responds with the quotation above. She means to encourage him but also to let him know that his journey has just begun. The fellowship has given him a start, but the task ahead is his and his alone. He no longer needs the others, and, indeed, he separates from them at the end of the film. These words also serve as a warning for Frodo, alerting him to the solitude he’ll struggle with as long as he has the ring. Frodo will wrestle with solitude even after he’s destroyed the ring and returned to the Shire.

We left Honduras.  We started it from scratch, created a team, ministry and a family...and then we left it...and we left those behind
I left my family behind as well.  My mother passed away almost 5 years ago, and my dad so recently (less than six weeks ago), my, on to start a new path.

My daughter is in college pursuing her dream, and my in-laws are in Sacramento.  My best friends are continents and huge time zones away....

My husband and I travel this path alone...

And at times it feels so very alone... let's face it - we cling to what we know.  We cling to our church friends, our best friends, heck - even our favorite coffee shops.  But remove ALL that you know - and when you are left with nothing familiar, not even the language or food or the "comfort" of reliable electricity and a hot shower that you can step into, you are left with what you cling to.  And so I cling to my savior.  He is sufficient for me in my spirit.  In this I know.  But in my flesh I am human, and so I long for things I don't have.

I am weak, and in that, He is strong.  I know that this is a Season, and that He will meet me where my needs are most.  I cry out to Him, and He responds in kind.

Please be patient with me as I find the balance in my life...in the life of a missionary...in the life of trying to be obedient to Him who has sent me...

5 comments:

Barbara Wannemacher said...

This hymn came to mind....not sure if you know the tune?


1
Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you!
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you!
God will take care of you,
Through every day o’er all the way;
He will take care of you;
God will take care of you!
2
Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
God will take care of you!
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you!
3
All you may need He will provide,
God will take care of you!
Trust Him, and you will be satisfied,
God will take care of you!
4
Lonely and sad, from friends apart,
God will take care of you!
He will give peace to your aching heart,
God will take care of you!
5
No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you!
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you!

Wonderful promises during both sad.....and happy times.....you are in my prayers!
Blessings, Barbara

Connie Bankson said...

We are praying for you! May the Lord encourage and help you both as you find your new normal.

B Dunlap said...

Erin and Mike, we are praying for you, and want to know how we can help. We meant to send some things via the Amazon wish list and I'm just sorry we were not more on top of it before now! Please let us know how to best minister and support you where you stand in Africa. Much love, Nick and Betsy Dunlap

Arctific said...

While we feel alone, it is not so. While we feel abandoned, this is not so. Distressed on every side, we are finally to brought to rely upon Christ alone. Filled with weakness, in our weakness Christ is strong. Unable to see eye to eye with the Joy of the Lord and honestly not thankful in this circumstance, we now know what to pray for. May God grant you today's measure of his joy from his spirit. We are given a greater abundance than these things through Christ. May God grant you a thankful mind from his gifts. For having seen of nature that God is neither did these acknowledge him as God nor thankful to God turns into the very earliest error of the whole of the human race described in Romans for us all. May God also grant you opportunity to pray. As for me, I shall pray for your aloneness. Not that you should have more of it, but that from it Christ may be evident through you and this leads to Joy and Thankfulness. My only help is to encourage the memory of Scriptures. For Christians standing alone with no outside affirmation while working for God's objectives but without external care usually become weary. God's word is real food and real drink.


christina said...

Praying for you. Thank you for being so real, so honest, and so transparent. You are modeling what it looks like to walk in complete and utter obedience and so grateful for all that you have taught me from near and afar. May you sense His presence, His strong arms around you, and His strength to keep on keeping on doing Kingdom work.
Blessings