When life is lonely…
I was single until I was 29. So what? In the South this is considered “later”. There were many many lonely days and nights as I watched my friends and younger sisters get married. I used to think that if I was married, this loneliness would go away. There’s no way wives were lonely- if anything all they talk about was never having alone time. And don’t’ get me wrong, I am definitely a woman who likes her quiet time and I recharge when I’m by myself. But man, to be married, seemed like it would fix this loneliness.
When I married a terrific man, who happened to be active duty in the United States Navy, I saw adventure, moving, patriotism, spreading my wings! I did not see the loneliness that would ensue. Having always lived in a town with family and friends, I had no idea the challenges of not knowing a single soul.
These are two different scenarios of many other circumstances why people feel so alone in this great big world. No matter your situation, here are a few tips I’ve learned on this journey. You must be proactive if you want to see change.
- Join something. A job. A club. A church. A bible study. A gym. Something. Insert yourself in an atmosphere where there are other people. Sitting at home does not help with this situation.
- Put yourself out there. When you have joined something, talk to people. As an introvert this has been something I’ve made myself do. Ask your office neighbor where all of your new colleagues go to eat lunch. Chat with the other mom of a toddler at church. Invite a couple over for dinner or dessert.
- Get off social media. Its too easy to get caught up in the comparison game with everyone’s splice of fantastic lives they choose share to the world. We don’t document the truly hard and disappointing moments like we do the fun and exciting times.
- Do activities that feed your soul. For me its reading a book, pouring into my son or husband, or trying a new recipe. I’ve never heard someone say that scrolling through mindless minutes (hours) of Facebook or Snapchat really brought them joy. Nor does binging on the latest Netflix series.
- Give back to someone. These were wise words from my dad when he was going through a tough time. You’ll stop feeling sorry for yourself if you stop thinking about yourself so much. Go do something for someone else. This can be officially volunteering for an organization or simply making some cookies for your neighbors. Send a letter in the mail to a child or older person. Do something small for your husband or wife that you know they would feel loved by.
However, none of this matters if you don’t seek God first. He is the only being that will fill you and will never fail you. Before trying all these tactics, lean into Him. Sit at His feet. Open His word and read. Eventually everything you try to do to fill this loneliness, will fail you except Him. I thought after getting married that I would never be lonely, and here I am by myself on July 4th evening. I can hear fireworks going off, but my two year old is sleeping and my husband is on the night shift. I’m in a town where I know no one. I just finished looking through all my friend’s and family’s stories on Snapchat where they are together celebrating. There’s that ache that I’ve become so familiar with.
Come, Lord Jesus. Fill me as I sit at your feet.