A couple of weeks ago, I went through a brief time of loneliness. From that experience, I understood in a new way the difference between lonely, alone and isolated, words that we hear often and use interchangeably.
As a Jesus follower, I know that I am never truly alone as I have the Holy Spirit with me. In spite of that, I can sometimes feel isolated when I don’t physically have someone around me who understands what I’m going through, although I have a fantastic group of people doing life with me.
Yet, feeling lonely, which often seems to pop up out of the blue, I’ve found that this is not an easy path to navigate but thanks to Jesus I never have to tackle it alone. Many times, life can be so busy with us doing stuff, it’s hard for God to get our attention. For me, this particular episode I walked through became a time for me to press into God and hear what He wanted to tell me. It took patience, pain and openness but I gained something special in the process.
What I Did to Beat Loneliness
- Reached out to a friend and shared what I was experiencing
- Read a bit online from other Christians on loneliness
- Spent time with God- listening to music, reading my Bible and pouring my heart out to God about what I was feeling
The last point was by far the most powerful in helping me overcome this period of loneliness but the others were helpful as well.
What I Learnt/Gained from the Experience- My Top 5
- Increased Empathy- Going through this experience, God reminded me of another friend who also goes through this and I was able to connect with him on a deeper level. (Read his guest post.)
- New Perspective- In my research, I discovered this moving excerpt by A. W. Tozer which put words to what I was feeling. Reading this brought me to tears.
- Greater Understanding- God had been doing some work around the relationships in my life as they were entering different seasons. So although I had friends I could reach out to, I also was very aware of the gaps that existed in other relationships. I needed to let go and trust God in this area.
- More Vulnerability- “God sets the lonely in families,” this portion of Psalms 68:6 really spoke to me and gave me the courage to be honest about what I was really feeling to a friend. In doing so, she was able to ask questions that forced me to be clear which was a massive help during my time with God.
- Deeper Love- I used the feeling of loneliness as a cue to press into God. As I spent time with Him and shared what I was experiencing, I felt His love for me on a deeper level as He became my comforter.
When times of loneliness come, it can be so easy to deflect and run the opposite direction which for me looks like losing myself in a good book or a movie instead of facing those times head on with God and working through step by painful step. I’m so grateful I dug in my feet and pressed through as God was able to teach me so much through the experience.
Will you let loneliness cause you to press into God and share your heart or will you bottle it up and try to ignore it?
✞ Are You Really In?