Monday, September 08, 2014

I'm Not Lonely Anymore




Have you ever been surrounded by lots of people, yet felt like the loneliest person in the world? 

Me too.

I've heard lots of people say they have, including many ministers. 

The issue isn't whether we're surrounded by people, it's about a heart-connection.
Kindred spirits. 
Understanding on a deeper level. 

We do need community -- and God has created us that way. But it's not community that I'm thinking about today. 

I used to feel an ache as a woman in ministry because although I was surrounded by  people, few if any knew the weight of that which I carried.  The issue wasn't whether I could find someone to go out for coffee with. There were those who gave invitations, but sometimes I didn't feel the level of trust or understanding to share with them. 

What God showed me was that I needed to reframe the issue of loneliness.  

I saw loneliness as a bad thing. 
A horrible thing. 
Something that needed to be fixed. 

And I thought people were the only solution. 
I discovered God would meet this need, but not always how I thought He would. 

My loneliness improved when I carved out more quiet time with God. Was that what He wanted all along? Was my lonely ache a call to a deeper walk?



Through reframing loneliness God took me on a new journey. I started reading books about developing greater intimacy with the Lord. One of those books I read at the time was Falling in Love with Jesus: Abandoning Yourself to the Greatest Romance of Your Life, by Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli. Other books that had great impact on me are Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge and Come Away My Beloved, by Frances J. Roberts. Through the years I have added books to my collection that have spoken to me in this regard. One of my most recent favorites is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. 

Are books the key to a deeper walk with God? I'm not saying they're the key. I'm simply mentioning that the encouragement I've received from these has led me into greater revelation that helped me get closer to God and feel less lonely.

I've discovered that no matter how many times I've connected with people over coffee to bare our souls, I always come up empty unless I first share my heart with the Lord.

Now, rarely if ever do I share things with other people that I haven't first had a deep conversation with the Lord about. 

There is still a need in my life to connect with others, however I know this is not the source of my strength. It's the icing on the cake. My lonely ache is a call to come away with the One who loves me more than anyone.

If you are a person who is feeling that lonely ache, I pray today that you can find some quiet moments with Jesus and abandon yourself to what is truly the greatest connection any of us will ever have with anyone. 
 

Photo Credits: Larry & Deanna Shrodes

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