When I was in about year five or six at school, I remember my teacher asking the class to tell her all the times that they feel lonely. All the other children said things like: “When I’m in a field on my own,” or “When I’m in my room on my own.” I put my hand up and said. “In the playground.”
It felt like the entire class was laughing at me. I was humiliated. Because how can you be lonely when you are not alone?
But he truth was, even as I was surrounded by other people, sometimes I felt lonely.
And this is a feeling I have fought for most of my life. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
We believe that lie of loneliness that says: What if my friends don’t really like me? What if my family don’t love me? What if I’m all on my own?
And the as time went on this lie took hold in my life.
But it was only through knowing the root of those feelings of loneliness that I was able to fight against them.
The thing is, the devil wants us to feel alone. It’s easier for him to attack if were isolated. If we are feeling dissatisfied or depressed.
He doesn’t want us to realise that we are not on our own. That even when we are on our own we aren’t really on our own.
As David wrote in the bible:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139: 7-10)
And David was someone who knew loneliness. He spent his early years alone tending sheep, and then later, on the run as a fugitive of a jealous king.
He knew loneliness. And yet he knew that he was never truly alone.
This may sound like an easy thing to say when you’re not feeling lonely. And it is. It is an easy thing to say, and a hard thing to believe. But whether or not it’s hard to believe, it’s the truth!
We cannot outrun God’s love. There is no height high enough nor depth deep enough to separate us from him. God. No matter how hard we try.
And through God, we can turn our loneliness into something positive.
My parents have commented how as a child I would make friends with the strangest people, the oddballs and the people no-one else wanted to be friends with. (My dad even said this as part of his father of the bride speech, so it must be true!)
Today I wonder if this would have been so true of me if I didn’t experience periods of loneliness. If I had been super popular, would I ever have had to go our of my way to make these friends? If I hadn’t felt like I was on the outside, I might never have noticed that other people on the outside as well.
So lets do this with our loneliness, lets not let it stew into something bitter, but lets transform it into compassion.
After all, from the ashes grow the most beautiful plants.
I know I have just touched the tip of the iceberg on this subject, please share your own thoughts and experiences of this, and encourage other people. I know people read the comments and as encouraged by them as the content (and often more so).