Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


Days of Loneliness

Most of Ellen White's letters to James at Battle Creek were preserved. In the main, they were rather short and carried but few themes: the happenings about the home, her interest in her husband's activities and welfare, and the progress being made in her writing. Frequently she mentioned her affection for James and the loneliness she experienced in his absence. 3BIO 27.5

In her letter penned on Thursday, April 13, she wrote: 3BIO 27.6

We are all quite well and cheerful. We feel every day a most earnest desire for a more sacred nearness to God. This is my prayer, when I lie down, when I awake in the night, and when I arise in the morning, Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee.

I sleep alone. This seems to be Mary's preference as well as mine. I can have a better opportunity for reflection and prayer. I prize my being all to myself, unless graced with your presence. I want to share my bed only with you. Lucinda is an exception. She seems to be a part of myself as I can make no other one.—Letter 6, 1876. 3BIO 28.1

On Friday, as the sun was sinking in the west, her thoughts turned to her husband. She wrote: 3BIO 28.2

The Sabbath is drawing on. I will write you a few lines so as not to miss one day. If there is no line from me to you, be assured the fault is not mine. 3BIO 28.3

I have not much news to write. We are well as usual, but when Sabbath comes, it seems quite lonely.—Letter 7, 1876. 3BIO 28.4

Four days later, April 18, her letter carried the word of how much she missed James, and added, “We are so buried up in our writing we have no time ...to be lonesome while thus engaged; but when gathered about the fireside, then there is a great miss.”—Letter 9, 1876. 3BIO 28.5

On Monday evening, April 24, she described the home situation after the day's work of writing was done. 3BIO 28.6

Mary, Willie, and myself are now seated at the table writing.... We are getting used to being alone so that we do not feel lonesome as we did.... Be of good courage and be just as cheerful and happy as you can. I will do the same.—Letter 13, 1876. 3BIO 28.7

The letters bubble over with her delight in having the opportunity to write on the life of Christ, the subjects she was covering, the fine working relationship with Mary Clough, and with her satisfaction in the finished product. 3BIO 28.8