Alone in a Boat

Have you ever had that picture come to your mind that you were alone on small row boat? You didn’t want to be alone, but you were. You desperately wanted people to hop into your boat with you, but they couldn’t.
This is how I felt when our family moved and took only some of our very special belongings in six to eight large rubber made containers to the Philippines.
God gave me the picture of me being in a row boat alone in the dark. I didn’t want to be alone, but there was no one there who was in our stage of life when we moved to Manila. We were different than all the people on our team. We were American and had two young children. The three other American team mates we knew had been in the Philippines for decades. It had been a long time since they were new to the Philippines. They knew the language, culture and had adjusted to living in a mega city. We on the other hand were newbies.
Adjusting to a new culture, way of life and language is tough when you feel like you are doing it alone. As much as some team mates tried to fill us in on the ways of life in Manila, it hit tired ears. This is because as I adjusted to a completely different way of life, I just needed someone to understand and empathize with me. I longed to hear these words. It’s hard coming to a new place so foreign to what you have ever known. Wow, having little ones in a new culture must be hard for you. I’m sorry it’s been so difficult to adjust to so many people when you came from a much smaller city in the United States.
When you are going through a crazy adjustment like we were, you don’t always know how to express what you need. So others didn’t know how to really help us. We had our office mates that we worked with, a large group of people in the U.S. that were praying and financially supporting us, and then we had an international missionary school that our kids went to for our 9 year stay. This was our only support system until we found a good international church and then got connected with a Filipino house church a few years into our stay.
Feeling like we are not alone is a big thing for everyone in the world. It’s a natural human need to feel understood when you go through difficulties. We were never meant to walk through life alone. We weren’t plopped down on earth with no one else there. We have family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and sometimes we have a church community.
Are you feeling lonely today? Do you feel like no one really understands what you are experiencing or going through? When no else seems to be there or understands you, know for certain that God does. He knitted you together in your mother’s womb. He knows all about you. When you lie down. When you get up. What you think. How you feel. God really cares for you. You are precious to him.
Go to him today. Tell him how you feel. Tell him what you need. He will meet you in a special way. Whether it’s in nature, a card in the mail from a friend or through a book you are reading. God always cares! He is always with you!