A question for the ages! How easily dissatisfied humans are when they’re lonely. Thankfully, God knows exactly what to do with us when we’re feeling that way. We just have to pay attention.
It is quite painful for me to tell others about my loneliness. When I do, I feel weak and vulnerable. I hate feeling that way. I would rather drive off a cliff than admit something like that, to be perfectly honest. But there aren’t any sufficient cliffs around here, so I guess I’ll just tell you what it’s like for me when I feel lonely.
My struggle with loneliness centers around my singleness. Because of primarily subconscious pressures placed on me by societal messages about marriage, I feel like I’m behind. I’m almost 30, and I’ve only been on one date in the last 5 years. My last serious relationship was basically that long ago. In my brokenness, I feel like there is something wrong with me.
Now you know as well as I do that is a lie straight from the enemy. The reality is that, though I feel lonely, I am not alone. I’ve got family, friends, and most importantly, my relationship with the Holy Trinity. But frankly, there are days when none of that is enough. There are days when I am utterly dissatisfied, even though I know what the reality of the situation is.
So how do I get through that? If reminding myself of the reality isn’t enough to be content, what’s the next step?
For a long time, I have been unable to answer that question. But now I think I can begin that process. The only way to alleviate and manage loneliness brought on by intentional singleness is to be just as intentional with the time you spend with God. It is not enough to simply ask God to help you feel less lonely. It is not enough to fill your time with girls’ nights, TV shows, or even your job. While such things are worth doing, they are not enough to truly make you feel less lonely.
The only way I have realized is to just be with God. Be with God the same way you “be” with your closest friends or your closest family members. What do the other relationships in your life look like? How do you talk with those nearest and dearest to you? Whatever your answers to those questions, take them and apply them to your relationship with the Holy Trinity. He really is that personal!
Get out of the box called “prayer life,” and just do life with the One who loves you most. Tell God about the stuff that really pisses you off (even if sometimes it is Him!). Tell God about the stuff you get so excited about, you almost can’t sleep. Yesterday, I told God what I thought about the business practices of some company that I didn’t like. And I know He cared! Additionally, let Him tell you what He’s doing for you and your community. Let Him tell you His favorite things about you. Let Him teach you new things you haven’t thought of before. Let Him be. He wants to exist in every way He possible can with you.
While I am living as a single person, that does not mean that I have no meaningful relationships. I am surrounded by people who intentionally love and spend time with me. I am surrounded and indwelled by a loving, incredibly close Father. My feelings do not always reflect reality. I may feel lonely sometimes, but I am not alone. So the journey continues, and I press on.
Tell me, how do you alleviate and manage your loneliness?
Also, if you want some Scripture to back up my thoughts on loneliness and God, click here.