It’s dark. Quiet. My coffee is cooling while I try to drink it as quickly as possible because lukewarm coffee is probably one of my least favorite things in life. (I tell Josiah that he eats his ice cream too quickly — one can’t possibly enjoy such a delight when consumed too fast — and he tells me that I guzzle coffee down faster than one should.)
I’m reminded of my year at Bible school in Germany and my dark mornings there. There was a room unlocked for the students only certain times of day which housed a dozen or so computers for our use. It was just ten years ago, but most of us 18-year-olds didn’t own our own laptops (and now most 8-year-olds have the equivalent of a computer — a smart phone — in their back pocket at all times) and so we were forced to figure out how to share those 12 computers (less, actually, since only half of them would work properly at one time) during the designated times as a student body of 90+ persons. It’s a good way to see how selfless (or not) a host of 18-year-olds are.
Anyway. I didn’t like the pressure of sitting in front of a screen while the room filled with waiting bodies so I found the one time that most people weren’t clamoring for use of a computer: 6-7am. Nobody wanted to get up earlier than they absolutely had to, and when was breakfast? 7:15 I think? And attendance was mandatory. But I didn’t mind. I’d shower (again, without a line of girls waiting for me to be done), dress for the day, and slip downstairs while most everyone else slept. And there I’d sit, finishing up school papers and communicating with the world back home. And a lot of mornings, doing so rather tearfully.
Loneliness is a hard, hard thing to endure. Maybe it seemed worse since I never had felt lonely a day of my life before I landed in a country across the world from my home and everything I knew? But it was a lonely year, full of homesickness, and mostly the want to be around people I felt absolutely comfortable with in a place that I knew everything about.
Loneliness was a good thing though. I know I didn’t learn all the lessons I could have through an entire year of feeling lonely and like I never quite fit in (like, put on your Big Girl Panties and make that place and those people your Home), but I’m glad for that year. Years of my parents instructing and showing that “daily time in the Word, prayer, and journaling is most important”, actually became important personally. I learned that I love wandering the outdoor world — that I love countryside best with woods and green and honestly, their farms. I love German farms heaps more than I love American farms.
My boys are now up for the day, I need to get moving, and I’m not sure what the point is of all this rambling. Just something about this morning transported me back to those 6am mornings of tiptoeing past dorm room doors to connect with a mama, sisters, and friends who were so far away, and how it wasn’t bad — those tearful mornings and nights where I felt so alone — but in many ways, I needed that year to forge a real relationship with my Lord for myself. And to learn that I hear Him best while I enjoy the dark quiet of early mornings and walking through woods. And how hard things are oftentimes good things.