A Season of Loneliness
I still think there are parts of loneliness that I’m too young to fully grasp. Once when I was talking with an elderly lady at church, she told me that she’s lonely, that her husband passed away a few years ago and she’s all alone at home, day in and day out. My heart aches for her, but I can’t fully relate since I’m not in that stage of life yet. Although I’ve only had a small taste of loneliness, I still know that it can be absolutely crushing and hard to endure.
To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to count as lost, a time to keep and a time to discard, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I could write a whole chapter on loneliness, or list tips on how to be more social or how to make 10 new friends a month. And that might work for you, but at the end of the day at least one person reading this will go to bed feeling lonely. And I don’t want that, because it reminds me of a season in my life I’m not fond of.
Even though I will gladly (and sometimes proudly) identify as an introvert, its hard to be totally alone for more than a day. I could even say I hate it.
For reasons that are now more clear to me, I spent two extra years at University. Those extra years were really tough because I watched as almost all of my friends graduated, got internships or jobs and started their “real” lives. It felt like they were whizzing ahead while I stayed stuck in Uni and felt directionless (and alone!). For most of those two years, I would study alone, eat alone, take the subway and bus alone. I felt forgotten and discarded but God saw the situation differently.
He saw it as a journey He could take me on, where I would become totally dependant on Him.
I don’t desire loneliness, but what comes out of it is a cleansing, sanctifying, and a soul-renewing makeover. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Being alone for many hours at a time or next to strangers in a large study space or lecture hall put things into perspective. God rid me of so many things using loneliness. I was angry with him when I thought I deserved to be surrounded by friends or an exciting life. I thought it was my right to have a joy-filled and easy life. I learned that my very breath is a gift, that God does not owe me anything. In the same way He could let Job go through trials, He could do the same to me, if he felt like it would shape me and make me focus on Him. God let me see the ugly parts of myself that only came out while I was trying so hard to fight loneliness.
But friend, I want to assure you that loneliness comes in seasons, and that it doesn’t last forever. God’s plan for growth is most often found in community and He’s not trying to keep you separated from everyone in the long run. There are so many days of joy ahead where you won’t be lonely anymore.
In my current season of life, loneliness is fading away. I started school for Respiratory Therapy and met a whole bunch of lovely new people. My friend that I live with during the week, we go to the gym together and laugh about the time we got stuck at an intersection because we ran out of gas. I see the start of something new where I’m not feeling isolated anymore.
If you’re struggling with feeling alone, forgotten or lonely, reach out to us. Here at Chai, we want to be a friend if you need one! Do you need prayer for this season of your life? Send us a message so we can pray for you!