It’s a topic that I think resonates within all of us…especially us women.
We all experience it at some point in our lives.
Whether it’s as children….living in a broken home or a home that’s always moving or changing.
Or as college students… Missing the days when our moms took care of us and we had no real responsibilities.
Or as grown women… longing for a child and feeling like no one understands the pain that comes with it. Feeling like its not okay to talk about how deep the hurt goes sometimes.
On the mission field…far from anyone it seems that we can communicate with. Language school is tough and it seems very few understand what its actually like to learn another language.
Or on furlough…when the country we return to is nothing like the country we left! New items on all the shelves, new pop culture, new phrases…our friends and family have changed just simply due to time…and life. And we suddenly feel weird…like we don’t fit in anywhere.
Stay at home moms? We’re just looking for someone to have a deep conversation with. One that doesn’t involve poop or play dough.
Or working moms… who miss their babies and just wish some of their coworkers understood.
Those suffering from illness, or disease…who can not even describe their pain. And feel completely alone in it.
Those who have lost someone…and feel their world is now incomplete without that special person.
You get me, don’t you?
It hits us all. And it’s normal.
I know I have definitely had my lonely seasons.
Seasons where the enemy tells me, “You can’t do this!” “You’re alone in this.” “No one here cares about you!”
Lies. He whispers lies.
and Oh, how I struggle! I struggle not to believe them.
How do I overcome it?
Friends, how do we overcome it?
I think first, we need to take a good look at our situation, and understand that whatever it is, it’s not that. Every one feels lonely.
Life is just that, life. It’s full of highs and lows, happy and sad times, losses and gains. It twists and turns. And is ALWAYS out of our control. We will certainly experience lonely times and with them we will always have reasons to justify the loneliness we feel.
But lets not get carried away with ourselves.
I listed many “lonely” situations above, but the truth is, I could think of many more.
There are more than enough reasons to go around for every person.
And as much as I hate to admit it, loneliness often comes when we are spending too much time focusing on our “person”…self.
When we are focused on our loss, our pain…how we desperately miss someone who has passed on, or those we left back in the States…
When we focus on how different we are than EVERYONE around us. We are focused on one person…me! (Us, Me, We)
A change in circumstances will not fix the problem. It will just change the reason for it.
“How can I be surrounded by literally thousands of people and feel so lonely??” I often think to myself.
It’s not my situation. It’s not that.
Next, we have to recognize that Jesus is enough. He is the only one who can fill the void.
The truth is…Though these seasons are tough, we must know that they bring about great opportunity. An opportunity to grow closer with the Lord. Loneliness like pain is a symptom of a problem. Pain tells us that we have a physical problem while loneliness often is a symptom of our heart needing “more Jesus.”
Because, no matter how isolated we feel in them or how tempted we are to believe those lies that Satan would like us to believe, we know that as believers we are never alone. That our Lord never leaves us stranded. He is always there.
And not only is He there…but He knows everything about us. He knows our very thoughts! He knows our likes, dislikes, what makes us laugh and cry. He knows when we’re suffering, and he cares about every detail of our lives. He is the greatest friend we could ever have.
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10: 14-15
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10: 29-31
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
And though we may think the answer to the empty space lingering in our heart is more friends, having a baby, more time with our husband, or more time outside of the house or inside of the house…
Truly the only answer is Jesus. He is the only one who can fill the void. He is our refuge. Our strength. Even if it really is JUST you and God in something….even if he’s the only one on your side. He is enough.
And finally, get up and take action!
First, get in the word! Draw close the Lord. Seek Him. Spend time with Him. Pour out your heart to Him. He can heal and fill any void in your heart. Then, focus your time and energy on others instead of entertaining the lies Satan tries to distract us with.
Proverbs 11:25 tell us, “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”
When we choose to serve others, when we spend time encouraging them and refreshing them…our souls will receive the same in return. We also will be encouraged and refreshed, our souls being cared for.
When we reach out to those who are lonely around us….taking time to share the love of Christ with them. Our hearts are also touched with that same love.
I especially found this to be true when I lost my son. I found the greatest healing took place in my heart when I reached out to minister to others. Left to myself, I felt broken. But when I reached out to others, I found that I always blessed abundantly in return.
Loneliness if not dealt with, can lead to weariness, discouragement, bitterness, and depression.
But if we choose to, we can also use it to do great things for the Lord. By first, realizing our need for Jesus…drawing close to Him and then reaching out to serve others who might be experiencing the same thing.
We have to take action instead of totally putting the responsibility on others.
Make a decision to reach out to someone this week…share the Gospel with them. Show the love of Christ to them.
It won’t take long before you realize how much you have in common with those around you, and how blessed we are to be a part of the family of Christ!
We can have victory in every area of our lives through Him!