Loneliness. You’re Not Alone

Women today are more highly connected than ever before and yet many attest to being lonely. When I think of lonely woman, my mind immediately pictures an 1800′s Pioneer woman with no neighbors for miles. Or an elderly woman in a nursing home, or a mom of many young children. But, to some degree or another, we’ve all felt the sting of loneliness and know that it’s not fun place to be.

We don’t like “not fun” places, so we try escapism.

Water

We sometimes start a search for authentic community or initiate new friendships. Sometimes we fill our lonely hearts with mindless entertainment, social media, shopping or eating. Maybe we find refuge in a book. Or maybe we over-book our schedules with new clubs, gyms, ministries, or hobbies in the hopes of making new friends to  mask the dull, hollow loneliness.

Elisabeth Elliot could relate:

“Loneliness comes over us sometimes as a sudden tide. It is one of the terms of our humanness, and, in a sense, therefore, incurable. Yet I have found peace in my loneliest times not only through acceptance of the situation, but through making it an offering to God, who can transfigure it into something for the good of others.”

What’s a girl to do when she feels/faces loneliness? Well, try to identify why you are lonely. I thought of three categories that cause loneliness but I’m sure there are many more.

Three types of Loneliness.

Loneliness due to sin:

  • unconfessed, un-repented sin in your life which hinders relationships.
  • alienating others by your critical spirit, negativity, or cruelty.
  • alienating others by your own selfishness, egotistical spirit or spiritual pride.
  • neediness for others to be your “god” and meet all your needs
  • self-focus, self-pity, “self-mutilation of spirit” that dwells on lies like I’m unworthy, unwanted, unloved and insecure.
  • spiritual pride that makes you a spiritual loner. A self-imposed lone ranger mentality

{If that’s the case, loneliness is a tool of grace to bring you into repentance and to make more conformed to the image of God. Repent and make right with God and others (1 John 1:9), accept God’s forgiveness (Ephesians  1:7) and forgive others (Eph. 4:32). Then step out again in church ministry and in the fellowship of the body of Christ, using your gifts as God allows.}

Loneliness caused by the sin of others:

  • being excluded because of race or social status, prejudice or exclusivism
  • being excluded by the in crowd based on life stage or life choices: having children or not, using birth control or not, breast feeding vs bottle feeding, homeschooling or not, single or married, divorced, childless by choice.
  • betrayed by a friend or spouse
  • turf wars/ territorialism at work, church or family
  • you’ve been prejudged

Loneliness can be caused by no fault of your own and no choice of your own

  • cultural norms you can’t understand
  • language barriers in a new country
  • moving to a new state, leaving friends behind
  • death of a loved one
  • a spouse chooses divorce
  • a spouse who won’t communicate
  • isolation due to illness or injury
  • children leaving the nest
  • a full time work schedule that allows for no free time

So many variables, huh? Whatever the cause, the pain is real.

But, did you ever wonder if your loneliness was ordained by God for a season with a specific purpose? Maybe God meant your loneliness for good?

God will sometimes use our most lonely times to force us to talk to Him. I say force, because it seems like talking to God is our last choice when we are lonely.

We were created for intimate fellowship with God, to enjoy His presence and to be fully satisfied in a relationship with Him.

If you are lonely, PRAISE THE LORD, that God is always with you and that He’s the friend of friends who never leaves you or forsakes you. He is always near.

Why does He come to mind last, when we should seek His friendship first?

He initiates and invites you into fellowship (1 Cor. 1:9) with Him. He invites all who are lonely, tired and weary to find rest in Him, drink of His thirst quenching water, abide with Him, seek His rest, bring your burdens {even your loneliness} to Him.

When you are lonely, try one hour at the foot of the cross. 

Elisabeth Elliot counsels, “Let your loneliness be transformed into a holy aloneness. Sit still before the Lord.”

It’s important to get our focus off of our feelings before we spiral downward, and back onto the Lord and what He’s trying to accomplish. Recognizing the pain is natural. But your reaction to the pain charts a course and determines where you go for help and rescue.

Suffering of any sort can be a way for God to get our attention.

C.S. Lewis calls pain “God’s megaphone,” and loneliness is a very real affliction.

The best cure: Seek Christ, give Him your pain, tell Him your trouble, abide in Him, nurture your soul in an intimate love relationship with Him.

“Snuggle in God’s arms. When you are hurting, when you feel lonely, left out, let Him cradle you, comfort you, reassure you of His all-sufficient power and love.” Kay Arthur

3 comments

  1. Beautiful post, thank you! I’ve been praying for several months for God to move my “mountain of isolation.” He’s been showing me many truths. Being truly connected starts in the heart, with our relationship with God. It all flows from there.
    Circumstances and divorce keep me alone a lot, but I’m learning to accept it, and move forward in faith.

  2. [...] Loneliness. You’re Not Alone. by Sarah Beals [...]

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