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.
~ © Bonnie Way