I don’t like to be blindsided. Loneliness is one of those emotions that can just land on me out of left field with no warning.
Loneliness can strike when…
- I’m sitting in a room full of women, but next to no one.
- I’ve spent full and glorious days with family or friends, but eventually had to say goodbye.
- I’m caught up in the chatter of friends over a table laden with chips and salsa and drinks, but I’ve yet to connect with the conversation.
- I’m browsing Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
- I’m surrounded by children who are clinging to me, pets that need me and a husband who loves me.
- I have a crisis and can’t think who I could call that would truly appreciate the weight of it all.
- I text a friend…and wait and wait and wait for a reply.
Feeling lonely is not a life or death matter, but it makes me uncomfortable. It accentuates any other awkward feelings I’m already wearing, those itchy insecurities that tell me there’s something wrong with me or that everyone else knows a secret that’s lost on me.
And, look, I’m not alone. I’m married to a very attentive man. He works hard and long hours, but he doesn’t neglect me. And I have a full array of parents and kids and friends to visit with in person or on the phone. I’m not alone…and some of you live much more solitary lives than I do. I get that.
And yet I feel lonely sometimes. I bet you do, too.
When Loneliness Gets the Best of You
Sometimes, most times, the feeling flutters in like a harmless but annoying moth, easily shooed away. Maybe that’s how loneliness is supposed to be: just bothersome and frequent enough to keep us reaching out and dialing up and introducing ourselves and meeting up.
But while loneliness is harmless enough when it lights briefly on our hearts and then flutters away, it isn’t always so innocuous. Sometimes loneliness is more like one of these big hornet type flying bugs that buzzes its way into my pony tail on my morning walks during monsoon season. I hate those bugs. They invade my peace, rob me of my joy, distract me from my ongoing conversation with the Lord and make me flail around and look like a crazy woman. Yeah, that’s exactly what the buzzing hornet brand of loneliness does to me, too. It can absolutely transform me into a crazy woman!
But crazy is what happens anytime we let our emotions get the best of us.
Fortunately, that doesn’t happen to me nearly as often as it once did. I’ve learned to cling to the truth about my loneliness instead. And I’d like to share those truths with you, too, so that you can avoid crazy also.
The Truth About Loneliness
Truthfully, loneliness is a common human condition with a uniquely divine solution.
Proverbs 14:10 challenges the cultural fad of looking for your soulmate. According to the wisdom of Solomon, there is no person on God’s green earth who can completely explore and comprehend the depths of your heart (or soul). When I feel misunderstood or taken lightly or disregarded, loneliness follows close behind. God created us to desire deep connection with another. He planted within us the longing to be understood fully and to share the weight of our emotions with another.
But while no one other person can fit that bill, God can. Psalm 44:21 tells us that God knows the secrets of the human heart. He knows us better than we know ourselves. And when no one else cares or listens, or we find it difficult to express adequately what is in our hearts, God alone leans in and listens, understands and fully comprehends, cares and responds.Could it be that my loneliness is an invitation to enjoy God's presence more fully? Click To Tweet
Loneliness is God’s Invitation to Enjoy His Presence
God alone can fully share the bitterness of our losses as well as the exhilaration of our joys. He listens and leans in and lingers when we are hurting or confused or angry or ecstatic with joy. Zephaniah 3:17 even describes God sitting graciously in silence when we’ve blown it and singing along enthusiastically with us when we’re bursting with joy!
Loneliness is a common human malady because we keep trying to get someone else to feel what we feel, to plunge the depths of our hearts, to give our heftiest emotions the weight we believe they deserve. But that common malady is meant to drive us to the only One who can truly go that deep with us. So the next time you feel lonely, don’t let your loneliness cause you to feel like a loser. Just remind yourself it is a human condition with a divine solution.Loneliness is a common human condition with a uniquely divine solution: Seek Him. Click To Tweet
Here are a few other scriptures that speak to my loneliness:
Look, we’re all going to have moments of loneliness. It’s human nature. But we have a choice. We can choose to wallow in our loneliness and allow it to hold us captive. That will undoubtedly lead to despair and fortify our insecurities. Or we can choose to see our loneliness as a divine reminder to seek and treasure the Lord’s companionship. When we seek Him out and enjoy His presence, He rewards us with spiritual riches that are reserved for those who linger with Him. (Psalm 25:14)
Intrigued by the idea of handling overwhelming emotions with the authority of God’s Word? You might be interested in my Bible study, Satisfied…at Last! This 6-week study, which can be done alone or with others, helps you to begin a lifelong daily habit of feasting on God’s Word so that the empty places in you are filled to satisfaction with the Truth. You can find out more and order copies here.