The feeling of being alone in a crowded room is a haunting spine chilling phenomena. This daunting feeling was my biggest anxiety preparing to come to Namibia. I was anxious because it would be the first time traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, and I would be alone. It was going to be the first time living in another country, and I would be living alone. (Something I also have never done.) The fear of loneliness was my biggest anxiety without a doubt. I was so anxious of being alone that I did not even know what to pray to combat the loneliness. I simply prayed that I would learn to be dependent on God.
I am not an extrovert by any means, I don’t only enjoy being alone but I thrive off of it, so the fear of loneliness was something completely new to me. Up to this point in my life, it had never worried me to be alone, deep down it excites me. Yet, there I was for months fretting over being alone. The extent of my fear had me in tears the night before leaving, and it started when a family was praying over me, and it didn’t end until I fell asleep. The time was actually here, and I was actually going off alone. The darkness of loneliness was becoming a reality.
I pictured myself wandering through the European airport aimlessly, oblivious to my surroundings because I am a foreigner. I pictured myself spending non-work hours in my apartment flat alone and disconnected. I pictured myself frantically going through the supermarket, surrounded by people who didn’t even notice me.
I could not have been more wrong, and God showed me how wrong I was before even boarding the first plane.
Sitting at the gate in Chicago O’Hare Airport, I realized the woman across from me had almost the same itinerary as me. She would have the same layover, and get on the same flight to South Africa as me. So for 90% of my traveling she would be there. I had not even boarded the plane and I had made a friend that I would be able to navigate the airports with and kill time while waiting. She also is really awesome and inspiring, so that is a bonus. I felt safe and confident to have a companion to travel with. I am convinced that she is Gods answer to my tear-filled & anxiety-driven prayers.
After her and I split ways I had the last leg of my traveling, from Johannesburg to Windhoek. As I exited the Windhoek airport I was greeted by an excited kid and friendly faces. I spent that evening and day with the Echols, and the next day I was taken to my apartment. My housing situation is another confirmation that God cares about my fears and he provides not only materially but he provides emotionally, and socially. My housing arrangement is beyond ideal, the family that I rent from is extremely friendly and warm, as well as the other tenants. I am convinced that my housing situation is God’s answer to my tear-filled & anxiety-driven prayers.
It is almost bizarre how well my personality has meshed with David and Sandy. Within one week I already feel like I have become closely knit with them and the kids. I knew that I would mesh well with them because they are also fans of The Office, but I didn’t realize that they would include me as much as they do. I am invited over for dinner and lunch regularly and spent most of my (waking) free-time on their sofa. The relationship with them has clicked so well, and so fast that I am convinced that our relationship is God’s answer to my tear-filled & anxiety driven prayers.
I have learned that not only does God hear our cries, but he also doesn’t leave us alone. The body of Christ is everywhere. There are Christians and people on every corner of the globe that we can mesh with, and create community. Community doesn’t have to be an established group, but it can be where two or more people are gathered. I find extreme comfort and peace in knowing that I am not alone, because God is with me and his people are, too.