For some of us, moving from a busy family life with daily activity and interaction to one of aloneness creates a feeling of sadness and fear at times. We ask ourselves, “Will these feelings of loneliness I struggle with ever go away? Could this possibly get worse?” These are thoughts that someone goes through when adjusting to the new normal of being alone. I go through seasons of struggle with these thoughts more often than I’d like to. All it takes is a glance at a family leaving church together… walking by a restaurant alone… seeing a golden retriever playing with someone at the dog park down the road. Instances like these remind me of how alone I am. We realize we were made for community and when that is lost we suffer.
I recall a person I knew some years ago stating that divorce is the worse thing that can ever happen to someone. The grief, separation, loss of family, thoughts of what could have… should have been, come to haunt the mind. I understand now what they were saying. I certainly could picture it, but living through it myself makes me realize that aloneness is a battle.
So how do we fight these feelings that can seem so overwhelming at times? It’s true we have comfort in knowing God is with us, but sometimes we need a friend to offer support and care.
I find that God speaks to me often in these lonely hours and reminds me that Heaven is my true home and until I get there, I must recognize that this will be a part of life for me now. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:14-18 ESV
Remembering this battle is spiritual in nature, helps me understand that when I am struggling with aloneness I need to take action steps to connect with someone. Acting instead of reacting is needful. Rather than ruminating over what brought me to this place in life, I need to focus upon the goodness of God in the midst of my circumstance (Romans 8:28). Blaming another person for our position in life will only turn our hearts inward toward bitterness and more pain. Moments of loneliness are normal and they can be used by God to help us reflect upon His eternal greatness and what He has planned for those who love Him.
I find it helpful to consider Jesus’ life on earth for 33 years. He knew the glory of heaven and relationship with the Father. During His time as the son of man, He suffered in our place, taking our sin; He understood separation and loneliness, along with anguish that we will never experience. When we consider Jesus in this way, we can find Him to be a friend, a brother, who understands. Through this identification, we come to see Him in a new way, a comforting way that reminds us He is here.
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