Hi, I feel so deeply your pain. Feeling lonely, has often led to some of my worst decisions. The isolated nature of it is soul destroying. It makes the strongest of people just completely weak. I remember last year I went through an intense and despairing time of loneliness. It was so bad, that there reached a point where nothing helped. I was too far in it, that I couldn’t get out of it. Spending more and more time alone was hard, especially when I was used to always being around people, but even when I spent time with friends, it didn’t help. Because the root of the issue wasn’t going to be solved in a simple dinner.
Part of my loneliness came from the simple fact that even when I was with people I was hiding. I was doing so much worse that I or anyone else realized. And I was finding being honest with people was hard, so hard, because I wasn’t being honest with God or myself.
And this wasn’t easily solved, because even when I was honest, the people around me tried their best but often didn’t know what to do, especially when their schedules meant they were busy. And normally I would be too (all you need to do is ask my mum how it is like to try and get me on the phone, some weeks I call a lot because I am freer but other weeks only on Sundays am I free) but I was isolating myself more and more in the depths of deep depression.
However, the current climate of the day (i.e. in lockdown from the coronavirus, I am in the UK for context so not the strongest lockdown but we are still confined), will mean that more and more of us will be facing what I did. We are restricted on the amount of contact we have with the outside world. The difference between last year and now is we are all in the same boat. As a family member said last night, we are all in all the time, which means when people spontaneously call we are more likely to be available. But I am also aware that some of us are more connected than others. And therefore, some are finding this easier than others.
For all of us though, this stripped back world we now live in, reveals our deep-rooted need for community and for God. We no longer have busyness to distract us from the horrible ache that we are deeply lonely.
This may seem to contradict itself, however as I have already said, being surrounded by people often means we feel lonelier. Because even those with the busiest of schedules can struggle with the fact that very few really know them completely and love them infinitely. And this combination is what I think is the remedy of loneliness.
I believe that God gives us both of these things perfectly. And even so, we can feel lonely. So Abbie if you have just said what the remedy is and you have said we can find this in God, why do I still feel deeply lonely?
Well hypothetical person, this is because we often forget this truth, it doesn’t feel enough. But I believe the more we spend time with God the deeper sense of peace we get. And we may still feel loneliness because we live in a broken and sinful world, that is so far from perfect, even though this barrier of access to God is removed in Christ (as he died taking on all the sin we commit and others do), we are still here. We still feel this brokenness, and that is why we still may feel this loneliness.
But as a cavate God also made us to be in relationship with other human beings. This means knowing that God has forgiven our sin in Christ, we spend time with one another allowing others to truly see us, see everything. And I know that is scary, this is one of the battles I face every single day (and even writing this is causing huge conviction on my part) so friends and family of mine who may read this continue to bear with me.
I don’t write these blog posts as someone with everything figured out, but as someone who rests in the knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness through Jesus, who is figuring life out as I go.
But I know, as we bring these big and hard feelings to God and truly spend time with me, he will begin to heal us, not of it completely yet (I mean he might but that isn’t my experience) but piece by piece until one day we stand before him completely healed because of the grace of God and the work of Christ.