Everyone is unique and so are their hurts, baggage, and issues. Two questions to ask:
1) WHY are you lonely?
2) WHAT can you do about it?
While a single mom, I had time alone while my girls spent time with their dad. The house felt empty and my mommy-responsibilities were put on hold. Friends and family had their own busy lives but mine was forever changing. I attended parties, church, family gatherings, school functions, and medical appointment by myself.
I WAS ALONE…AND I WAS LONELY.
Society can make people feel it is a curse to be alone. I disagree. One of the greatest gifts I had in healing and accepting my journey was taking time alone and enjoy it. I was able to process and make some positive steps to move forward. Spending time in God’s Word helped me see Truth, be encouraged, and accept that being alone was a good thing.
However, being alone and living like a hermit isn’t good either. God created us for relationships and connection. Adam had Eve; Naomi had her daughter-in-law, Ruth; David’s best friend was Jonathan; and Paul had his traveling buddy, Silas to name a few.
When dealing with issues, I try to unwrap it to explore what is happening and then take positive steps to deal with it. Remember you are unique and your feelings are real to you. Acknowledging them can be the first step toward acceptance and moving on.
Question #1: WHY do you feel a sense of loneliness? Do these sound familiar?
- You aren’t married and desperately want to be.
- Your ex-spouse has left and you desperately want him/her to come home.
- Single parenthood is so busy your social life is almost nil and some friends don’t include you anymore.
- You work night shift and sleep during the day.
- Your workplace isn’t user friendly and you dread going there.
- You lost your partner to death, divorce, or have a dis-interested spouse.
- You don’t have a true-blue friend to hang with to discuss heavy-duty life questions.
- You have moved to a new town.
- You are a caregiver to your parents and you have no time to go out or people don’t understand your situation.
Loneliness can also cause some bad choices and mistakes so choosing not to panic is a good step forward. Loneliness can also develop bitterness so let’s all work to be free from that.
Question #2: WHAT can we do about it? Here are some suggestions.
- Make an appointment with a counselor or trusted pastoral staff member to gain positive perspective.
- Risk doing something new that may open doors to make new friends or opportunities.
- Check out community events for some things to do to get out from your four walls. (involve your kids too!)
- Join a support group. Check it out in your area or your medical office might have a list.
- Check if a nursing home will allow volunteers to visit the lonely elderly.
- Church has never been your thing. Maybe you would like to check it out again? Check out their website to see what they are all about and if Jesus is the center of their ministry.
- Understand you will have lonely days and that it is okay sometimes. Begin to enjoy time alone for a spell. I call it “My Linda Time”. I have found I am good company! Who knew! 😊
- Is there a class during your lunch hour? I joined a fitness class and I found out the instructor lived right by me! What about a walking group?
- Consider becoming a Big Sister or Big Brother. It’s a heavy commitment but can have amazing results.
- If you can’t get out due to some life responsibilities, plan a phone date with a friend to catch up on things.
- Most importantly, take time to journey with God who desires to invest in your life and fill you with His peace and contentment. Scriptures are comforting and empowering. Why not read Ephesians 1 to 3 to understand your true identity when you are in relationship with Him?
I hope these will get the creative juices flowing. The important thing is to step forward. Choose today and take that first step. If one thing doesn’t suit, try another. It will be worth it.
Remember There is HELP, there is HOPE, there is HEALING!
Next time, three ladies will share about loneliness with some hope and encouragement. You are not alone!