Monday, December 26, 2016

All Alone!

Holland 2008

"All alone! Whether you like it or not, 
alone is something you'll be quite a lot!" 
-Dr. Suess

Loneliness is hard. It feels ugly, because we are created to be in relationship with others. Sin affects that a lot! We hurt other people, they hurt us, we grow up in broken homes, fear keeps us from stepping out, we lose someone we love, others wall us out, and so many other scenarios. I've spent a lot of my life being alone, and even when I'm not physically alone I often still feel alone inside. (Fun how that works, huh?) I wouldn't say I'm any sort of expert on loneliness, but I do have some thoughts...

Though the media paints alone-ness as one of the worst things that can happen to a person, being alone isn't all bad. Some of my most inspired thoughts came out of periods of being alone with the Lord. I've learned to treasure friendships and family all the more, because I know what it's like to not have them in my life. God has a special place in His heart for lonely people (Psalm 68:6- "God sets the lonely in families..." and oodles of verses on the widow and orphan), so being alone provides a beautiful backdrop to see God moving and providing in our lives.

But the truth be told, I hate the word, and I feel so sad for people who must go through life solo. This last season of life has involved a lot of isolation and instability in the relational department as I've moved around a lot. So, Netflix has become a good friend, as has the Internet, and seeking pseudo friendships through social media. But the reality is that all those make you feel worse, if we're being honest... And at the end of the day, we go to bed hating that no one wrote us an message back, that the movie seemed boring because no one was there to laugh or cry with, or that you can't recall any of the things you watched on Youtube. It's a pursuit of emptiness, a chasing after the wind, and I'm tired of being really bad at this whole loneliness thing!

This world is full of adventures, of knowledge and skills to be gained, of people to bless, of a God to fall in love with, and oodles of other things. I don't have a husband I have to spend time with, or children to feed, or a dog to walk, or a house to clean... I'm free to pursue lots of crazy things, if I can only convince my heart to no longer chase after empty cisterns that don't satisfy. So, here's to taking steps toward valuing and treasuring our loneliness!

1 comment:

Kim said...

I think, during my 39 years of singleness, the loneliness was the worst. I often associated alone-ness with rejection. I don't think this was true for the most part, but those were my feelings. Now that I'm married with a child and house, I still feel lonely at times. No person or responsibility can truly fill that part of my soul. I'm still learning to turn to God to fill me. I appreciated your "empty cisterns" comments. Too very true. I look forward to hearing of all that you pursue during this season of your life!

Happy New Year! Kim Ichikawa