We have ALL had those moments where we have been surrounded by people, yet feel utterly alone. I know I have, even recently. Never fear, you are not alone in those feelings, and are experienced at some stage in life.
Feelings of loneliness can come from a number of things; a desire to get married feeling like your the last one left, moving to a new country or city and adjusting, starting a new job and knowing no one, or desiring children. Where ever these feelings originate from we need to be able to take them to God and be expectant that He will help us out of where we are. We were created with a deep need for being connected to people, and to God, the way He designed us. Even right back at the time of creation: “The LORD God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him…”Genesis 2:18
He knows our deep need for relationships, friendships, marriage, parenthood, and church fellowship.
Where are you looking for your source of comfort ?
How easy is it to look everywhere for something that even slightly resembles some hope and comfort on those really lonely days, weeks months and yes even years. We’ve been fed this idea that ‘things’ make us happy and if we just have more of this and more of that THEN we have reached the ultimate level of happiness. Sad thing is, the more we do tend to have the less we actually feel anything at all. We then start to not feel satisfied and wonder why for all the money and materialistic stuff we possess, why do we still feel lonely? Our culture isn’t helping. It is so saturated in technology that it’s almost as if we have lost the art of really talking and getting to know people at a heart level and it’s been replaced by the all things digital.
How can we overcome our loneliness ?
There are a few ways we can combat these intense and often isolating feelings of loneliness.
First we have to be willing to admit that we actually ARE feeling this way and that it is ok to experience this emotion. We don’t need to fear that this is how we will always feel. Be honest with people if they ask how you are doing. There are many more replies in the world than the overused stock standard “I’m good thanks how are you?”
Secondly we need to dig deep and really get honest with ourselves and figure out what we can dedicate more time too and perhaps pull back on the things that aren’t helping us feel included.
There are things we can’t change in life and things we can. We should let go of the things we can’t and choose to focus on what we can alter in our lives. This will be different for each of us, but it helps to actively choose things that we can repair and to not spend valuable time on things that we can’t fix (no matter how much we want to).
If your an introvert like me, getting out and socialising can be hard and often draining BUT I encourage you to at least try to get out of the house and see friends or family even if its just once a week. Face to face contact is so key to deepening bonds with loved ones.
Find something you really love to do and pursue that. For my husband and I it’s the gym, hikes, walks and anything that allows us to be active. I love the feeling after a really great workout where I have pushed myself knowing that my mental and physical health are benefiting from it.
Can God use our loneliness for good?
Why yes ,Yes He can
- Much like the positive emotion that compels us to seek good and healthy outcomes, our negative emotion can actually do the same. We can take our feelings of loneliness and use it as a time to check in internally and see what things may need more or less attention
- Spending time with God outside of a Sunday service is a huge one. There are times where I have felt this way and known exactly whatI need to be doing, yet there are times where I just don’t and I really have no reason for it other than sometimes staring that loneliness in the face can be horribly unappealing. Yet I know as well as the next believer that if I want things to change I am going to have to do exactly what I am trying to avoid; face up to my feelings and allow God to help me
- Using these feelings for good can also help us see things in others we may not have seen otherwise. In other words if you have ever felt lonely it is usually for missing or desiring someone or some aspect of that person as to why you feel such a strong pull to connect with them. This is a great way to really celebrate the people close to you and to remember what you love about them.
While we aren’t going to be able to live a life that is free of all negative emotions or free from all hard and testing times, we can make the choice to not stay in this lonely mindset because it is all up to us as to where we go from here. We can either let it consume us and make life incredibly unpleasant or we can admit how we feel and work towards changing it. The choice is yours so what will you do ?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt 11:28-29