O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.” Psalm 38:9 ESV
Loneliness is one of those things that’s difficult to tackle. While it easy to assume good company is a natural remedy, it’s not that simple. It can be present even in the busiest of rooms. We’re all on different paths at different paces and there will be times we’re alone, but loneliness doesn’t have to be an option. When we think about being lonely, naturally, we thinking of singleness because of the obvious empty side of the bed or the assumed Sahara of our DMs. While some limit the absence of a living body cohabitating with you equals miserable, cold nights assume the worst for us singles, loneliness is hiding out in bedrooms of the married. It sits at family dinners, in business and church meetings and in shelter filled with souls wanting to be heard and acknowledged. What exactly does it mean to be lonely? Are we lonely or unaware?
The free dictionary defines “lonely” as being ” isolated, without companions.”1 Loneliness is a thing of belief, feeling and thought, not limited to the physical. I’ve been alone in my home and lonely is a word I wouldn’t confess to be a permeant or even a persistent presence but it does fill my mind at times. Espcially during comparisons to friends who are married, have their own families while I remain single. Even in those moments, I know that this pitiful feeling won’t last long, it’s only for the moment. It’ll pass, the same way arousal, hunger, anger and boredom eventually passes, so I know this is beyond having company, this is a mindset.
The body follows the mind and the spirit starves.
When we feel lonely, we feel absent of someone that understands where we are. Feeling alone or abandoned by those who refuse to see it our way or hear us out is the conception of feeling alone. Alone in what is going on in our mind and so our body follows. Our language changes to voice how no one understands. We shut ourselves in, pull the curtains and hopefully, yet begrudgingly awaiting for someone’s empathy to save us. Until we have understanding, agreement and/or in the least, a listening ear, we feel alone. What do we do when we feel lonely? We as Christians can have a tendency to become imbalanced with these kinds of issues. Either we wallow in it, trying to handle it outside of Christ because we should be past this by now, or we ignore it because we believe “resisting the devil and he’ll flee” (James 4:7) will be the end result.
Here’s the problem with that, resistance doesn’t mean to ignore and loneliness isn’t the devil, it can become of tool of his if left unattended. SO what do we do? We face it, head on. Here are some tips/question to help confront loneliness.
**DISCLAIMER** the info I share here aren’t cure or treatment. It’s simply encouragement and meant to provide thought provoking moments to help point you towards the source of these feelings with Christian support. Mental health is reality and checking in with a therapist is highly recommended along with your prayer life.
Are there certain time you feel lonely? Identify when those moments come.
What do you want in those moments? Do you crave intimacy, attention or agreement?
What would happen if you got what you wanted? Do you think loneliness would disappear?
Do you feel heard? Do you want to be heard or someone to agree with you? (very different)
What do you do during lonely moments? How do you handle them?
Write in a journal. Sometime we just need to get our feels out and being able to read them later helps to see our mental processes during these moments and can help uncover the cause.
Talk it out with a therapist or trusted friend.
Identifies what makes you feel lonely. What are your triggers? Is it being single? Comparison? Low self esteem?
Research stories similar to your. The essence of loneliness is believing you’re in this thing by yourself. Looking into stories that relate with you provide encouragement that someone has gone through what you’re in currently and you will come out okay.
Use your resources!
I forget to do this, but it’s incredibly helpful. Tackle each thought and find the logic in it. If it’s full of assumptions and feelings that justify feeling down and avoiding people, call it out and tell it the truth. This is from 2 Corinthians 10:5 We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (biblehub.com) retrieved June 22,2021.
Have a game plan that helps you confront your feelings. Often, feelings of loneliness and others can bring on depression and self-loathing. uplifting playlist ready. Have a list of friends ready that are ready and willing to talk of available. If no-one is free to talk, have something else lined up, like a walk in the park. Listing the facts of your feelings. leaving social media for a set amount of time and pray. Recite supporting scriptures to build your faith through the fight.
I pray these tips help you on your journey. Remember, your journey won’t be like anyone else’s exactly, so make sure not to compare your journey to someone else’s and condemn yourself if things don’t turn out just like theirs’s. You have your own pace and path with Christ and as long as you trust him, He’ll help you through it. You got this, with God of course, Stay encouraged!
- Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Retrieved June 22,2021 from Lonely – definition of lonely by The Free Dictionary