“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for Me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.” ~ Mark 10:29, 30
READING: Psalm 68
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge I faced as wife of a catalytic church planter was an ever-present, sometimes bone-crushing loneliness. We were always the new folks in town, the strangers in a strange land. This can hit us wives especially hard. Making new friends takes time and effort, not to mention bravery to open our hearts again and again to unknown and untested people. I had to be cautious not to rely too heavily on church folk or to expect them to meet my emotional needs.
Also, church planting is plain hard work and there usually wasn’t much time left over after church or family demands were met to cultivate my own friendships and a support system outside the church. Incidentally, wives often face loneliness even in the preferred team model.
By our second church, I sort of made my peace with the fact that I would probably always be lonely, that loneliness was part of the cost I paid so my husband could fulfill his high calling and so that precious souls would find Christ.
That’s when I found this promise in Mark 10. It comforts me that Jesus sees the friends I left behind, and my long stretches of loneliness, and that He will compensate when the time is right.
Dear Lord, Help me to keep a sweet spirit if I am lonely today, to be willing to endure hardship for Your sake, and to let it be enough that You see my pain. Amen.
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