Being alone on your birthday isn’t just lonely, it’s also a little embarrassing. I spent my 34th at a neighborhood pub, sitting at the bar, feeling sorry for myself and wondering how to be happy alone. After a glass of wine, I admitted it was my birthday to the bartender and the guy sitting a couple stools down…and they not only bought me drinks and appetizers, they sang “Happy Birthday.” Several times.
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“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.”
When I lived in Africa — I taught missionaries’ kids at an American Christian school in Nairobi, Kenya — I was the loneliest, most homesick “missionary” I knew! I didn’t consider myself a missionary at the time, but I was definitely struggling with a bad case of homesickness.