“I want to go home” was all I could think for three years — the whole time I lived in Africa! “If I was at home right now, all my problems would be gone. I’d be safe and happy with my friends and family.”
How do you cope when you feel homesick and lonely on the mission field? You can’t just go home at the end of a long, difficult day as a missionary! When I lived in Africa — I taught missionaries’ and expats’ kids at Rosslyn Academy, an international school in Nairobi, Kenya. I was the loneliest, most homesick “missionary” I knew! I actually didn’t consider myself a missionary at the time, but I do now. And I was definitely struggling with a bad case of homesickness.
Feeling like you’re being punished by God is normal for two reasons: 1) life is filled with difficult losses, terrible tragedies, and dry stretches of boredom and loneliness; and 2) you are human, which means you screw up. You make mistakes, hurt others, fail to live up to your own standards, and let people down.
“How can I pray without ceasing, like Paul says?” asked a She Blossoms reader on 5 Ways to Talk to God When You Can’t Pray. “I’m a single mom and I have to go to work, walk the dog, feed my kids and do the housework. How is it possible to keep praying constantly when you have real responsibilities?”
Finding facts about how to break toxic relationship patterns is easy; dozens of books and articles teach couples and families how to change bad relationship habits. Much harder is finding the energy and strength you need to put knowledge into practice!
You had faith in Jesus, but how do you love God when He lets you down? Maybe you hoped a relationship wouldn’t lead to divorce, a loved one wouldn’t die, a home wouldn’t be lost, or a dream wouldn’t be shattered forever. But you lost something you love, and you’re disappointed in God.
Maybe you want to be honest and “fess up” (confess) something you did yesterday or years ago. Maybe you want to come clean about your past because you didn’t just tell a lie, you’re actually living a lie.