I was just sitting here and thinking of my early days in America. My MIL had said that it takes a good 3 years to adjust, and she was right.
About 6 months after coming here we moved to a neighboring town, where my son was going to school. We were at least 40 minutes away from the rest of hubby’s family, and from church. I had joined a little fellowship in the community, and Tuesdays were the highlight of my week. But I was too different and reserved to have many friends and the loneliness sometimes reached unbearable proportions.
Hubby wasn’t home much, and when he was he was tired and absent. My family was way across the Atlantic ocean, and phone calls were few and far between because of the cost factor. Relationships with hubby’s family weren’t as comfortable and free as relationships with my own. We had one car, and most days I was cooped up in a small space with 3 boys under the age of 7.
I remember days in which I would just curl up in a fetal position on the kitchen floor and cry my eyes out.
The flip side was that my relationship with God was growing, in my loneliness I sought refuge in Him. He would often give me something to share with the people at the Tuesday fellowship and there were many times that he really opened up His word to me in a fresh and new way.
Still, I often struggled to feel his presence in my daily life. There were times He felt so far away.
One Saturday, frustrated beyond words with the same-old same-old struggles, the persistent loneliness, the drudgery of being at home all the time with no outlet, I told hubby I was going for a drive. ALONE.
I didn’t go far. I pulled the car to a stop at a dead-end road road in the woods and proceeded to pour my heart out to God. It felt like He wasn’t answering, or worse, like he wasn’t even there. So, in absolute frustration, I shouted at God. Where are you???? What do you think you’re doing????
It wasn’t long before I heard His still, small voice. “I am right here.” In my mind I could picture him, his face inches from mine, looking at me with the most patient, tender and kind expression. He wasn’t miles away, or somewhere in the unreachable heights of heaven. He was right in front of me, meeting me face to face as any friend would.
I realised that it was me who had drawn back from Him. To protect my bruised heart, I had thrown up fences and booby traps that would keep everyone out, including God. He had always been close, but I had ignored that.
Things improved after that. I only had to remind myself that Jesus was with me, and draw on His presence to see me through.
It still took a great while before America became more like home. Yet I clearly remember the day that my heart was overflowing with joy as I told God I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. The memory is so clear, that I know exactly where I was at the time. I was crossing the bridge spanning the Intra-Coastal waterway on my way to another Tuesday fellowship.