Never Left Alone

woman in winter hat looking up at snow-covered trees

Beginnings are hard. It’s not easy to uproot yourself from one side of the world where it felt as if things just began to get good and return home where nothing is the same anymore.

I was naive enough to think this transition would be easy: I’d have a full-time job secured in less than a month. Relationships with family and friends would be as they were before I left. Returning to Nashville would be a picture-perfect homecoming. Simply put, I thought God would follow my plan for this season instead of His own.

Coming home has been less than perfect. It’s been good, but it’s also been difficult and messy. At times, I’ve even felt alone. It’s hard to explain what I’m feeling and thinking at times because sometimes I lack the words and other times I know what to say, but I’m unsure if anyone would understand.

But I know without a doubt that even though my circumstances tell me otherwise, God—who is Immanuel, God with us—tells me I am not alone. That is the truth because all God says is true.

I’m grateful that the pages of Scripture remind us that no matter what we face, we aren’t alone. For example, take Abraham when he held a knife above Isaac ready to sacrifice him out of obedience to God. Or Moses when he stood at the foot of the Red Sea with raging water before him and the Egyptians behind him. Or Mary when the Angel Gabriel appeared and told her she would be the very one to bring Jesus, Immanuel, into this world.

Even if any of these people had the slightest thought that they were alone, they weren’t, because God was with them in these moments. God provided the sacrifice for Abraham, He parted the Red Sea for Moses, and He was there with Mary on the night Jesus was born.

I believe God specializes in showing up for His people. That’s just who He is. But because we are human and we have “spiritual amnesia,” we forget. We get busy with the mundane of the everyday, whether that be classes, work, or caring for our families. We forget to remember that we aren’t alone, because our God is not only with us but also in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Praise be to the God who never leaves us alone and promises to be with us no matter how alone we might feel.

Emily Todd* is a former cross-cultural worker who served among university students in South Asia. Currently she lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

*Name changed.

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