Saturday, April 4, 2015

Not Lonely

God sets the lonely in families...
Psalm 68:6

Yes, God is certainly talking about orphans and widows. 
Yes, He's also talking about refugees and those who've been exiled.
But it wasn't until recently that I realized this verse was for me, too!

Living overseas as a single woman is not easy.
It means sacrificing opportunities.
Giving up a certain quality of life.
Quiet nights spent alone.
Realizing that no one on the entire continent has any sort of familial responsibility to you.
Putting up with innumerable crass comments, inappropriate interactions, and unwanted attention.
Even those who believe singleness on the mission field is their life-long calling still struggle with loneliness, disappointment, and wrestle with big questions.

“Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends 
even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” 
– Thomas Aquinas

And that's when community comes into play. I cannot fathom life in Uganda without these four ladies. They're all married with the most wonderful families you'll ever meet, and they've each lovingly, graciously, and completely invited me into their lives. They've opened their doors, and more importantly, they've opened their hearts to me. I've learned so much from watching them love and serve their families and community, on the good days and on the bad ones, too. They free me to be myself, and together we learn to let down our walls. This gift cannot be measured.

Plus, they share their children with me! For play dates and sleepovers, birthday parties and little girl parties.

Sunday morning is one of my favorite times because it means walking up the steps of our church building, turning the corner, and being greeted by shouts of "Miss Carolyn is here!" and all sorts of running-start-knee-high hugs. Grace upon grace.

How can I possibly get lonely with these little friends in my life?

God promises to supply all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus - including the need for family. 

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