Loneliness

Hi friends! It’s been a while! Life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately. It seems like we are either running 100 mph in 5 different directions or catching our breaths before the next bout of craziness picks up.  This week has been a bit of a forced pause – the flu has hit our house hard. Yuck! So far I’ve managed to get by with only a head cold but poor hubs..he’s been down all week.

This slam-on-the-breaks kind of slow down has left me feeling – well, a bit lonely. Isn’t it crazy that we can be surrounded by things to do, people to see, activities we love, and tasks to accomplish, and still feel a little (or a lot) alone? There have been times when I have felt so alone that it is suffocating and loneliness consumes me much like waves of grief, and times like this past week when my normal routine is thrown off and I’m forced to go about my day alone.

We are bombarded every day by other people’s “best” moments that we quickly compare to our worst. We set such high expectations for  ourselves that we would never expect anyone else to reach, and when we don’t meet them it feels like we are the only one on the planet that can’t {fill in the blank}. That is so, incredibly isolating friends. It pushes us away from each other and from God because heaven forbid someone know we failed (seriously, a real fear of mine).

Maybe your kiddo isn’t meeting milestones like your other momma friends’ kids are, and you feel like retreat is the only option because who wants a weekly reminder that you aren’t good enough.  Maybe you are a newlywed like I was and pornography has wreaked havoc on your marriage and now there is pressure to perform and meet certain expectations that aren’t. even. real. And so you just feel – empty. And alone in your despair. Maybe you and your spouse aren’t meeting each others high expectations (tip – lower them and give grace) and so you live like roommates instead of two who have become one and even though you live and sleep with another living, breathing human – you feel lonely.  Maybe you are bombarded with negativity at work and everyone expects you to have the answers to problems you didn’t know existed and suddenly, the weight of the world is only on your shoulders. It is isolating. Maybe your kids are hard to parent right now and no one really gets it. Sometimes we walk a very lonely road.

I also find myself feeling lonely when I feel the pressure to conform to those around me.  As young-ish marrieds that are semi-established, working full time teaching jobs without kids, one of us still a full time student, still trying to navigate adulthood but mostly removed from the young-twenties, we don’t quite fit in. We aren’t newlyweds. We aren’t parents. We don’t work for Walmart. We are just…married. Doing life. But the pressure is there. To have kids, to have better jobs, to have our lives figured out by 30.

Do you feel it to? What about you single friend? Or late 30’s couple with fur babies but no baby-babies. Or working mom who doesn’t fit the SAHM model or the climb-the-corporate-ladder model.

Or what about as Christians, where the very essence of what we stand for directly contradicts what our culture promotes and we are in fact, living against the grain and contrary to what most expect or are comfortable with. It can feel pretty lonely.

The good news is God didn’t design us to fit in. We have a higher calling. We are in this world but not of it. We aren’t enough and that’s okay – God can fill all the gaps. He gives us strength in our weakness. Comfort in our grief. Companionship in the lonely.

No matter your season, no matter the depth or breadth of your loneliness – God is near. Your loneliness may be small, just passing through waters. Just like this week, where we were hit hard with the flu and I’m a one man show, and all of the sudden I feel alone in my day to day. Or maybe your loneliness is a little more consuming right now, like a swift river with currents that force you to succumb. In the thick of the most broken months of our marriage, I was there. Surrounded by those I loved, navigating my days just like anyone else…I was drowning in the gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, inconsolable emptiness. It consumed me, like fire.

And then there was Jesus. My life line. My redeemer. He met me then, when loneliness consumed me. He met me this week, when loneliness was just plain irritating. And in all the moments in between and in all the moments in the future when I face a time when I feel isolated, I can trace his faithfulness and read his promises and know He is near.

God has something for us in our loneliness. His unconditional, all-consuming, gracious and merciful love.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;  when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
(Isaiah 43:1-3)

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2 thoughts on “Loneliness

  1. My Goodness you are a blessing. I was just sitting here on my lunch break contemplating how i was going to get through this tough spot i’m in We are in (my husband and I). He is transitioning from the military and i work full time and no children just the same. I feel so alone sometimes. now being one of those times. my husband is amazing, but he can only meet so many needs and vice versa. I need to lean on the almighty. thank you for that reminder and the connection. I soooo needed this. I’m not alone and neither are you. Thank you for this blog today and thank you Lord for directing me to it.

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    1. Christine, I am so glad you encouragement! You are so right – even when we are blessed with incredible husbands and families and jobs, etc. we will still feel lonely because they cannot meet all of our needs. What a sweet opportunity to draw near to our savior, because he is enough! Blessings on you and your husband!

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