As I reflect over the years on the topic of loneliness I can’t help but notice a pattern. Continually in seasons of change, loneliness also found its way in.
When I went to college, moved states, got married, had a baby. In all these life changing events I was also consumed with the heart pain of loneliness. I suppose it makes sense. These were times of shaking, restructuring, evaluating. Seasons of change pull us from “the normal.” Change makes us feel weak, uncertain, and insecure. Change is uncomfortable. Change brings us in front of our fears.
So loneliness, a feeling of sadness due to loss pairs with change. Change is the circumstance and loneliness the reaction.
How do we face change with confidence? How do we hold God in the midst of tumultuous times? How do we embrace deeper companionship with Christ, our Rock?
I don’t have these answers. Change is something I wrestle with. God is teaching me, still working on me in this. In the past every time change occurred I was thrown into the deep waters of depression and loneliness. Every time I caved into my insecurities and fears. I did not truly see God as my Provider- meeter of my needs. I did not believe He was greater than my struggles, emotions and circumstances.
In my early years, friendships had come easily, naturally for me. I was never without a friend. When I went off to college I still enjoyed companionship among my classmates and those at my church.
When I got married something was different. I struggled for two and a half years. I didn’t seem to connect with people so easily. When I did start connecting circumstances changed. Every woman I started to get close with moved. Circumstances changed in their lives and all five women I started to connect with over the course of the two years moved away.
I was frustrated, devastated. Why was friendship so difficult here? What was I doing wrong? I was getting angry with God.
Despite this, God was patient with me. He showed me that while companionship is important it does not take priority over my relationship with Him. I was not pursuing God, engaging with Him as much as I was trying with the women around me. My energy and strength were not to come from people. People can not and will not meet my needs. Only God can and will! Only God.
When I am secure in my relationship with Christ. When I see Him as the meeter of my needs then friendship, companionship can naturally be the overflow. When God holds my fears and insecurities. When I trust Him then I can face change. I can see seasons come and go and not fear. I can watch relationships change and know that God is constant. Circumstances can turn upside down yet I do not need to jump into the waters of depression and loneliness. I do not need to go there because the waters do not save me. Depression is heavy, it does not float, but God’s lifeline does. God’s steady, constant, patient love. Only God holds, stands firm in time. Only God. I am reminded of the words of a hymn…”in every change He faithful will remain.”
1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. ESV
Psalm 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. ESV