Monday, June 1, 2015


For God has said, “I will never fail you.  I will never forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5b

I experienced some terrible loneliness as a young missionary mom in Pakistan.  Sometimes I wonder how I ever survived those times. Never before and never after that time have I walked through such a painful wilderness of loneliness.  Certainly days and even seasons of loneliness have been experienced since then but not to the same degree as in Pakistan. My husband and I were assigned to live at a mission hospital compound in a rural area.  There was no shortage of people around. There were no television, computer, phone, bookstore, Christian radio station, shopping mall, coffee shop, women’s Bible study group, or recreational activities available which could fill the loneliness. It was not considered appropriate to cycle or walk alone. If I had been a medical professional my days would have been filled with busyness attending to patients’ needs.  When I heard the latest episodes of medical diagnoses and care of patients it often frightened me.  I was not comfortable around hospital talk. However, those hospital wards were my school in engaging in evangelism among Muslim patients and their relatives and that was extremely valuable.  A better place could not have been designed for me.  Nevertheless I wondered if I would make it.  I do not remember ever talking about my loneliness with any fellow missionary fearing I might be judged as an incompetent missionary.
Well, here I am still engaged in evangelism among Muslim women, but in my homeland, and everything is available to distract and fill lonely days.  What I have discovered is that it is not so much the geography that induces loneliness but just being engaged in Muslim evangelism. It is sometimes a lonely path although I have to say that there is nothing I enjoy more! There really are lots of surprises, thrills, and mysteries.  But it can be lonely when Christians do not grasp the spiritual lostness of people or how difficult it can be to explain the Good News to someone who is conditioned against the Truth, or if they aren’t able to understand the spiritual battles confronted continually.  Thankfully, God has brought some wonderful fellow Christians into my life who do understand and pray for me.
Many times I have thanked God for allowing me to experience loneliness because He has sent me to some very lonely Muslims.  How could I empathize with them if I had not walked through loneliness myself?  There are countless lonely Muslim women who are homesick and separated from families overseas or existing in lonely marriages. Some of them are having a hard time adjusting in my homeland. They feel like fish out of water.  Then there is the gnawing loneliness of never knowing for certain if their sins are forgiven or if they are acceptable with Allah. There is the awful weight of wondering if they will suffer long in hell. Recently Fatima poured out her loneliness to me. I asked her if she felt lonely. Tears filled her eyes as she nodded yes. My heart broke for her. It sure helps to understand loneliness personally.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for sending the Comforter to us. How we need Him!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.