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12.08.2015

Dear lonely woman


Dear lonely woman,

Lonely is such a hard place to be. Even in the happier moments, loneliness is there, eating away at something inside you. It’s hard to shake. And, even when you know that Jesus is the only one who can ever truly fill the holes in your heart, it would be nice to have another human being to walk beside you, too.


Maybe you’re a new mom, and your lovely little one–joy-bringing though he or she may be–makes it hard to reach out to others. Maybe you just moved, and your new home is far from people you know. Or maybe yours was a slow fade–you gave in to the pressure and spent too much time hustling and not enough time investing in the people around you. And now, well, those people aren’t there to invest in anymore.

Whatever the reason for your loneliness, know this: it’s a valid feeling. There’s no reason for you to feel guilty for feeling lonely. Even if your turn into loneliness was entirely driven by you. Even if you’re surrounded by people but still feel the sting. I don’t care what your situation is: feeling lonely in the midst of it is valid. I think it’s something that happens to everyone at some point, on some level. Feeling guilty about it does nothing good for you–it’ll just prevent you from facing it head on and doing something about it. So accept your feelings as real and OK, so you can move on to handling it.

About that, the handling it part. You have everything you need within you to do that. Your faith, your personality, your resources. You can handle it.

Here are a few thoughts about that phase of life–on yourself in the middle of handling it.

First, lean into Jesus. I’d like to think that he knows a thing or two about being lonely. Even surrounded by disciples, I think he’d have felt the isolation of his calling, his true identity. I think he felt it in the garden, when his friends fell asleep while keeping watch for him. And he certainly felt it as he was drug before Pilot and the crowds, when all of his friends turned their backs on him. I think Jesus knew loneliness, too, and he will walk through it with you.

Second, be in the real world. The internet is a great tool for connecting us to people like us around the world. But a digital relationship–even between two wonderfully-matched people–can never beat two human beings standing face to face. Accept that, and look to the people around you for the connection you crave.

Don’t give up. I know what it feels like to run into dead ends over and over again when trying to reach out and connect with people. And I know how hard it can be to make new friends as an adult. I also know how tempting it can be to stop trying and retreat into your own world. But that’s only going to perpetuate your loneliness and breed bitterness. So don’t give up. Keep reaching. Keep inviting. Keep pursuing. Eventually, you’ll catch the break you’re looking for. Lonely is a dark place, I know. But there’s always the hope of a light at the end of the tunnel–never believe otherwise.

Lonely woman, you are strong enough to emerge from this. You are worth knowing and loving. You will make it through this season and find connection again. This is not your story, it’s only a chapter. It’s OK to be here, now, but this will not be your forever. Believe, friend.

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