Lessons from Loneliness
by Nicole Blean exclusively for SMORE
For years, I battled with loneliness until one day I realized it’s just logically part of the single mom territory, which helped me to face it head-on instead of allowing feelings of fear or depression to swallow me up each time they hit. Facing my loneliness in a matter-of-fact approached helped as I began to take my loneliness to my Savior and ask Him to fill the void with His presence. Recalling Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” and meditating on this truth set my thoughts on a better course, even if my feelings felt contrary. Then after praying, journaling, reading my Bible, or calling a friend, I would often get back to my to-do list and realize God had lifted the cloud of loneliness that felt so heavy only a few hours before.
In the past year, many changes took place in my life when I bought my house and moved thirty minutes away from our church family. Although I was thrilled to achieve a life-long dream of home ownership that I never thought would be possible as a single mom, I faced strong waves of isolation and aloneness that I didn’t expect after the move. Each time I turned to Christ, He got me through and He strengthened me in the process. I believe He allowed me to go through these tough times because He wanted to teach me to rely on Him. During this time, He also spoke to my heart that I should take lonely days as an opportunity to write and use my creative talents. By doing this, I directed my feelings into a creative activity that both lifted my spirits and glorified God because I was using my gifts.
God taught me even more through the lesson of loneliness. Recently as my teenage daughter started becoming more independent, I realized my loneliness was a sign that I needed to reach out to others by making a phone call or planning an activity with a friend. My perspective changed when I learned that loneliness is sometimes there because it means I need to take action to fellowship. Making a phone call blesses the other person as much as it blesses me because I often find that the other person I reach out to is also lonely. Support groups are another important way for me to get filled up as a single mom with no other adult to talk to at home. Stepping out and joining a single parent group at a church two miles away from my new home filled up a big part of the void left from no longer being close to our old church family.
Even though it might not feel like Christ physically there when we reach out to Him, it’s comforting to remember how intimately Christ understands our pain when we are lonely. When we think about how He was abandoned by everyone prior to going to the cross, we can put our loneliness into perspective despite how heavy it might feel at the moment. We can comprehend with awe and gratitude the lengths He took to be near us, and we can remind ourselves we are never truly alone in Christ. It also helps to think about the words my mother always spoke to me as a child: this, too, shall pass!