February 26, 2013

Love Like a Blanket - Bonnie Way

I sat in the middle of the lumpy futon that was my bed, a rough wool blanket drawn up around my shoulders.  It was early in the evening yet—the sun still shone outside the unadorned window—but already the Australian outback was cooling off and with it, the house.  Against the wall, my blue duffel bag spilled out my clothes.  In the corner, an empty wardrobe sat, left behind by the woman who had moved back to Adelaide, leaving her two roommates looking for someone to rent this room.

I had two weeks left to my job in Alice Springs, two weeks before I headed south to Adelaide myself, and I was counting down the days.  I barely saw my roommates; one was a tour guide who was often out of town, and the other was a teacher who kept to herself.  I worked at a local tourist attraction, but I was just filling in there until they found more permanent staff, and so I hadn't really made friends with any of the other staff.  I wanted to go home, but everyone at home thought I was having the adventure of my life, so I couldn't even tell them about my loneliness and homesickness.

Across my knees was spread my journal, my little pink Bible, and a copy of The Purpose-Driven Life.  I had purchased the last item in Sidney, when I began questioning exactly why I was halfway around the world from home.  Now, I was digging into the first chapters again, looking up the Scripture verses that Rick Warren referred to.  And as I did so, a new warmth crept into that cold, empty room.  Over and over again, with each verse that I flipped to, God whispered to me, "I love you.  You are My daughter.  You are precious to Me.  I created you.  I love you."

Tears began to flow down my cheeks.  Warren's words seemed to speak right to me: "You were created as a special object of God's love!  God made you so he could love you."  That was exactly what I needed to hear right then, when I was so far from family and friends.  In fact, it even made sense that I was so far from home right then.  Maybe I needed to come to place a complete loneliness before I turned to God.  Maybe He had taken me away from all the people I normally turned to so that He could draw me to Himself.

That evening still stands out in my memory; if I close my eyes, I can feel God's love wrapping around me like the rough wool blanket I huddled under.  He was there when I needed Him most.


  1. Bonnie, thanks for sharing your story. Isn't it amazing how God is always there for us? I'm glad I learned that early in my life. God became very real to me as a child when I had to go 500 miles away from my missionary parents to attend school. Isaiah 41:10 was the verse I clung to and it is stil precious to me.

  2. What a beautiful, precious story, Bonnie!

    I can feel His warmth wrapping around me as I read it.

    I love hearing the stories of how He makes himself so real to us... it's in those moments that we KNOW with every fibre of our being that He loves US. Really and truly.

    So glad you shared this with us.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story Bonnie.Yes, God's love is amazing and everlasting.

  4. Really beautiful. I love how you tie up your story by returning to the blanket in the first paragraph.

  5. Ruth - I love the way God speaks to us through specific Bible passages. :)

    Brenda - this is a memory I cling to because, as you say, I KNEW He loved me then... I guess we humans need very physical reminders like this. :)

  6. I love the way God used this opportunity to get your attention. What an awesome God we serve. Thanks for sharing.


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