It’s an interesting thing, loneliness. For a couple different reasons…
It’s interesting because we don’t have to be by ourself to experience it. Being alone definitely makes us feel lonely, but we can just as easily feel lonely when we aren’t alone as well.
It’s also interesting because more often than we like to admit, we contribute to our own loneliness. We may not choose the circumstances that brings it on, but we add to it. We feed the feeling of being lonely.
When God created man, he knew the importance of relationship. God knows that we need others in our life.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:18-22)
In this passage, we see God created man and woman and then brought them together. So we see that God is the one who first instituted the idea of marriage. Which is why I believe the idea and institution of marriage is under so much attack…because the enemy is attacking that which God set up and made important. But, that discussion is for another blog.
What we also see in this passage is that God created relationship. He said it’s not good for man to be alone. Married or single, that truth applies the same. It’s not good for us to be alone.
We need other people in our lives. People who we can trust, people who love us, people to do life with. This is one of the main reasons it’s important for us as Followers of Christ to also be involved in church and in the lives of other Followers…because we need each other.
When we have other people in our lives, we have others that we can go to in times of need. We have others who can encourage us when we need, who can call us out for our crap but still love us through it, and who will listen to us when we need to vent.
That’s why it is so important to have people in our life. A significant relationship, best friends, good friends, and even casual friendships. We need people in our lives.
Yet as I shared at the beginning, loneliness is an interesting thing because we don’t have to be alone to experience it, and often we contribute to our own loneliness.
We may have people in our lives, but if we hold them at arms length and don’t open up to them or allow them to really get to know us and what’s happening in our life, then even though they are there, we will still feel lonely. Just because someone is standing next to you, or you are talking to someone, that doesn’t mean they know you or that you won’t still feel lonely.
We were created to be in relationships with people. Not just to know the names of some people or stand in their vicinity…but to be in relationship with them. To let them get to know us, and to get to know them.
On my journey, I have learned the very difficult lesson of who was not really my friend that I thought was, or who really didn’t love me that I thought did. That realization has brought with it a fair amount of heartache, and a lot of loneliness.
BUT, I have also learned who is really my friend and who really does love me. Who I can really trust and who will continue to be my friend in this life no matter the circumstances I’m in at the moment. Those true friends have shown me love in ways I needed, have been there for me even when I didn’t ask, and who have both encouraged and challenged me as I needed to be.
The question is, am I more focused on those who I thought were my friends but weren’t, or on those who have stuck with me through everything? Do I care more about those who I thought loved me but didn’t, or about those who truly do love me?
If I focus on the first, then I’m going to continue to feel lonely. However, if I focus on the second, I’m going to realize that I have people in my life that I need, and I won’t need to feel lonely.
There are times in life when difficult circumstances cause us to lose friends and loved ones. And that can make us feel very lonely. In those times, remember that there are still people in your life, who are willing to walk through the difficult moments of your life with you.
May I encourage you, as you read this blog, to focus on the people that you do have in your life. Don’t hold them at arms length or keep them from really getting to know you. Don’t choose to isolate yourself from others, build relationships with them.
It’s not good to be alone…so look for those around you who truly love and care for you, and let them.