Even in Loneliness, God is Present

April 25th 2014 (2) comments so far  

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Lately, I can’t stand the song “One is the Loneliest Number.” Not because it is a terrible song, but because it has been hitting a little too close to home. After graduating college and moving out of my parents’ house, I am flying solo during this season of life. There are days that I am cool with it and enjoy the freedom. There are also days that I am lonely and look at puppies on Petfinder for way too long.

Although the lack of a romantic relationship is certainly part of this stage, it is not the main reason I feel socially quarantined. Would it be nice to check the “plus one” box on a wedding RSVP for once, or have someone besides my mother who cares about how my day went? Sure, but this brand of solitary is more about a loss of community.

I am not in the school and youth group phase anymore, a time when I formed relationships with little meaningful effort. In adulthood, I am finding that integrating into a community (or maintaining an existing one) demands significantly more work. Not having much luck in that department, I have felt like I am in limbo, stuck somewhere on a solo journey between college and functional adulthood.

In a practical sense, these times of limbo are all too real. Time between graduating school and getting married, stretches of unemployment, or your first few weeks in a new city can be lonesome stages of life when solitude is unavoidable. There is a valid feeling of emptiness from being physically alone. It is a part of our imperfect humanity.

Funny thing is there will never be a point in your life where you have “fixed” your loneliness. You can get married, have kids, join a community group in your church, and have a great relationship with your family; loneliness will not end just because you surround yourself with people.

Deuteronomy 31:8 illustrates a concept that all Christians know, but most have trouble believing: God’s omnipresence. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. We know in our heads that God never leaves our side, but for most (and visual people like me especially) it is difficult to believe when you feel alone. It just does not feel like anyone is there.

Most of the time, experiencing God’s presence will not be an instant-fix, never-feel-alone-again deal. It is an act of faith, trusting that He is always with you and using that as your strength through loneliness. It is not the solution we desire, but it is the only reliable option.

God knows that you feel lonely right now. He has promised to be there beside you to help you conquer it.


Comments

  1.  

    Dawn Devine April 30th at 11:55 pm  

    “Loneliness will not just end” caught my attention. Alot of people struggle with this. The solution seems to be ‘surrounding yourself’ with friends, kids, family, neighbors. Yet that can often deepen the feeling of loneliness. Each one of us need alone time. A private space, even if only a chair on the lawn or a corner of a room, that says to all ‘this is MyAloneTime’. During this space, listening to nature, music, reading, or working, when your heart is at peace and your mind is calm, think on the feeling of solace and contentment you experience. When you speak with God of your lonely feelings, he will comfort you, he will give you that peace. It may be in the form of crying until you are exhausted and he lets you rest. It may be the introduction of something or someone new. Remembering that he understands, he hears and he will provide gives the comfort and contentment in your heart. When you are given that feeling, hold it and focus on that during times of loneliness, it will subside and it is only temporary. He keeps the promises he makes to us.

  2.  

    Lonelyat church May 3rd at 4:56 pm  

    Yes I belong to a mega church of over 3000 members but very lonely. I try to stay activate in attending regularly but the rejection is too much when I try so hard to be helpful and participate even spending money I do not have. Our church has a book club which I adore, but just feel ladies there do not want me there any longer. Why? Cause I am divorced, single, homely, and live with two men which is strictly platonic and professional arrangement. I lost my job due to reasons beyond my control and ignored again at church I have had church women tell me I am demonic cause have problems like most folks do, I have had some woman tell me I am jealous cause she has a boyfriend and I do not. I still do not know where this unkindness came from when never even met the man or made unpleasant comments. Other females in charge of single members male & female date connection have been rude. I say nothing cause telling anyone at the church will do no good but ostracize me even more. I am just sick of rejection and rudeness. Apparently people like to bully me due to meekness. I have signed up for numerous church committees and other than book club ignored .Very conservative in dress and actions, a teacher but it seems no one cares if I am there or not. Noah and Abraham walked with God and had no church I guess that is what I will do. I shall resort to reading spiritual books, listening to Gospel music and visit churches tv on Sunday.

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