It has been 34 days since my wife Dahl and I have been away from each other. She had to go to Indonesia, then to the Philippines, for some ministry and family concerns. The last time we were apart this long was when I was working on my doctorate in North Carolina while she and the boys remained in Cebu City. That was three years before Skype was released, and so we communicated only by email and overseas calls using budget phone cards. Today, we are grateful for advances in technology such that Dahl and I talk almost every day through Face Time and send text messages through Line, Viber and/or WhatsApp.
But even with such technology, it’s not the same. For example, we couldn’t eat meals or go places or do things together. And I’m tired of holding my lips close to my iPad’s camera and saying “Mwah!” I want the real thing, you know!
I could not imagine the emotional distress being experienced by families where one spouse is working as an overseas contract worker. Their material needs may be met, but the emotional cost is staggering. Yesterday, I texted Dahl saying that the loneliness is getting to be unbearable. What more if we could not be together for years? A long distance love relationship is tough. Such an arrangement is so unnatural. It is no wonder that…
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him” (Genesis 2:18).
Most of the people here simply feel sorry about my situation; that doesn’t help me at all. Some even make fun of the fact that I am “home alone,” thinking that I am already starving; I don’t find that amusing and so I have avoided them. A few have invited me to their homes just to keep me company and enjoy our friendship; that has really been helpful. But at the end of the day, I still affirm that it is not good for Lloyd to be alone!
Dahl returns to Costa Rica in eight days. We will be back to our usual routine–carrying out our God-given assignment together, side by side. That’s how it is supposed to be.
But be ready, Dahl–no more “mwahs” on this iPad. Your lips will definitely go numb!
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