Loneliness may be the hardest thing you’re dealing with in your move. It was a comfort to me to know that Jesus has been to lonely places too. I’ve discovered on my journey that there really aren’t any emotional places I’ve been, or feelings I’ve had, that Jesus hadn’t experienced.
If we were sitting on my porch, I would share with you some of the things that became a lifeline in my loneliness:
Refocus on God
Take your eyes off yourself and turn your eyes to Jesus. It’s easy to lose focus on what’s most important—God—instead of looking at your circumstances. We focus on filling our lives with people, things, or activities to escape from loneliness. The emptiness you feel should first be filled by God, then He will bring the right people and activities into your life to ease the loneliness.
As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2, TLB).
Listen to God
C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” God may be using this move and the pain of your loneliness to get your full attention and draw you closer to Him.
Listen . . . what is God trying to tell you? You will always have His presence with you.
I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
There have been many times when loneliness overwhelmed me and I was so busy interpreting all the events of my life that I didn’t hear what God was saying about the situation. Don’t miss the moment. When God takes the time to whisper—or shout—you need to listen.
Talk to God.
There’s nothing like a good old one-on-one conversation with Jesus! Eyes wide open or closed, head bowed or looking straight ahead. Pray silently or speak aloud.
I talk out loud to Jesus just as I do with a best friend—because He is. Anywhere, anytime works for me. My prayers are mostly that of gratitude because He’s blessed me in countless ways. Praying for other people is good for my soul. It gets my focus off of me, my loneliness without Bill, and what I think I need. It’s a relief to know I can be honest, tell Jesus how I really feel, and know He still loves me. And you know what? If I take a deep breath every now and then, I can catch His response.
Pray at all times as the Holy Spirit leads you to pray. Pray for the things that are needed. You must watch and keep on praying” (Ephesians 6:18, NLV).
Rest in God.
I have often thought that the only time I’m not too busy, too scheduled, and too committed, is after I move. For many of us, that pocket of time is like a clock that’s waiting to be wound up. Until our life starts ticking again, we should take that time to rest; yet we often waste it by being frantic about our loneliness.
There was a time when I poured myself out to others without first being filled up through resting in, and being with, God. I ended up running on empty. Take the pocket of time God has given you and rest in His promises, rest in worship music, rest in His comfort and care. God is your refuge.
His arms are big enough to hold you for as long as you need to rest in Him.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Wait on God.
It’s hard to wait, isn’t it? You may already be tired of:
- waiting to fit in,
- waiting to make friends,
- waiting to feel at home,
- waiting to be included,
- waiting to be accepted,
- waiting for the loneliness to go away.
Waiting on God is hard sometimes. We don’t understand why we have to wait so long for all the pieces of life to come together again. Trust me, the pieces will come together—in God’s timing, not ours. But it’s during the waiting, during the space between now and then, that much is learned. God’s waiting room is not a bad place to be. While I waited, He taught me about trust and a whole lot about patience. So many times, I tried to figure everything out myself, but it just didn’t work that way. I only became anxious, unhappy, and miserable. I had many pity parties in my loneliness, and I didn’t know anyone to invite to join me! Trust God in all things, take a deep breath, and practice patience every day.
Reach out to others.
Are you waiting for other people to reach out to you in your loneliness? Many times after a move, I’ve dreamed of neighbors knocking on my door to welcome me into the neighborhood. I’ve imagined them bringing me flowers, a fresh-baked pie or brownies, and a list of places to go and things to do. You know, like a good neighbor would do in a minute! For all the times people have reached out to me, there have been just as many times they haven’t. I can choose to feel sorry for myself and indulge in a lot of self-pity. But that’s not the answer. The answer is to stop thinking about me and start thinking about them.
Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).
These are the things I want to share with you as we sit on my porch. Tuck them into the lonely places of your heart. And remember that God has not forgotten you.