Loneliness. It is something so hard to admit. Feeling alone. Wanting to have connection with others.
I can remember certain times when I have been lonely:
-Growing up a pastor's kid, we moved when I was going into 6th grade. It was lonely not knowing anyone at my first day of school there.
- My first year of marriage, Adam and I moved as newly-weds so he could start his masters for becoming a pastor. So far away from family and what we were used to, it was hard not to feel alone at first.
- Seeing pictures of people on social media who have been hanging out together. I sometimes wish I could of been apart of the fun.
- Being an introvert in a large gathering of people can be lonely. Overwhelming to the point that I just don't really know who to have a conversation with.
We all have a longing to be known, and to know others.
Loneliness can often be seen as a bad thing. Or we might try and mask it by filling our need with other things. Things that only numb it temporarily. Not really dealing with what is facing us.
What if we realized that it wasn't such a bad thing to feel lonely?
And what if we could understand that we really never are alone?
Jesus promised us when he left the earth that he would not leave us alone, but those that know him would have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us.
How comforting is this? The Spirit of the Lord lives in us. Even when we may be by ourselves, we actually are not. He is always with us.
And maybe our loneliness isn't always a bad thing. It may be a chance to spend some time with the One who dwells in us, and can reassure us that we never are alone.
But the Lord doesn't want us to do life in isolation either. There are times when we need others around us. It might be that we need to make an effort to make that happen.
Some things that have helped me:
-Joining a small group. I don't think there is a better place where someone can grow in their faith and get to know others at the same time. Find a group where you can be real, and do life together. Commit to coming to the group. Some of my closest friends have been because we got to know each other in that setting.
- Don't wait for an invitation. Initiate, and invite someone else to hang out. Sometimes we have to take that step in order to make it happen.
- Look for others who may feel lonely. Reach out to them, and invite them to do something.
Life doesn't have to be lonely. We can enjoy the company of others, and of our Lord.
Even if you feel alone, you never are.
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever..." John 14:16