For When You Feel Marooned {Tips for Missionaries and Non}

Few of us have ever actually been marooned on a desert island with no compass. But many things in life can make us feel as if we were. Especially moving to another land! It turns your world upside down. Literally if you’ve moved to another hemisphere! 

Nothing seems in its right place. Shops, for instance, don’t sell what you’d expect to find. It took us weeks to learn that only tobacco shops sell matches!

Offices, appointments, and even cues don’t work like they should.

“You don’t need an appointment to see the family doctor,” they said. “Just show up.” But I still didn’t know that patients enter on a first-come basis. Unable to figure it out or ask, I returned home after an hour’s wait. With a vomiting child who had vomited non-stop all day.

Even buying simple items like fabric prove difficult.

I felt so proud when I knew just what to ask for! Only to find a clerk who refused to sell it to me. “This fabric will not work for what you want to make,” she insisted. What did she care what fabric I wanted for my curtains?

We never did get the matches. We bought a lighter at the coffee bar, relieved to light our stove and cook! And the doctor’s office? Carless, I had to drag my daughter back home through the snow, both of us crying all the way. And then drug her right back again. Only to learn the doctor wasn’t seeing any more patients that evening. But I dug my heels in — my child was very ill. She saw us.

That fabric? I never did get it. That woman was too formidable for my limited Italian. Even though I’d walked with the kids 1.2 miles (2 km) for it. But I had to leave fabric-less and frustrated. And I cried all the way home. I felt marooned, without a compass. And I’m sure you have too at times.

So what can we do when we feel this lost?

  • Pray and read the Scriptures, a lot.
  • Talk to others about how we feel.
  • Remember that God promises to never leave us.
  • Be thankful for all the good blessings you have in your life.
  • Keep a sense of humor.
  • And remember that this, too, shall pass!

In looking back, so many of the things that made me crumble, burst into tears, or complain, now seem like great, fun adventures!

  • We look back and laugh.
  • Rejoicing over the good memories.
  • The wisdom of valuable lessons learned.
  • The joy of the journey.
  • And the luxury of some good, free drama!

Because it’s in such moments that life becomes better than any movie or adventure-filled novel! Where else can you get such great free entertainment — with a front row seat?

No it’s not easy trying to figure things out with a sick child in tow. It’s hard to go back home and stare at your curtain-less window. Curtain-less because of your own defeat. Or to eat nothing but sandwiches because you’re too dumb to buy matches.

But you learn a lot. You develop a sense of humor and even the ability to laugh at yourself. And you build a tenacity that will stand you in good stead all through life! Remember that God is always with you. And that a sense of humor makes a great compass!

When you feel marooned remember, God promises to never leave nor forsake us!

 Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, “I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you,’ Hebrews 13:5.

[Image is our own.]

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