Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved.
All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong ?
the Beatles “All The Lonely People”
Loneliness comes in all forms. At least that is what I have observed. I read somewhere the definition of loneliness is unwanted solitude. It also said it can be described as the absence of identification, understanding or compassion. It may also be described as a yearning for love or companionship, which is unfulfilled, but cannot seemingly be achieved, or may stem from the lack of love in one’s life, and hence may lead to emotion’s such as rejection, despair and low self-esteem.
Wow, does that all sound familiar. Too familiar. It seems to be a recurring theme in my life, and no pun intended, but I am very sure that I am not alone in this. From time to time I come face to face with this unwelcome state of being. I have had numerous conversations with close friends on this subject lately. I do not claim to know any cures or answers to the question asked by others and on occasion myself, why? Why did he leave me? Why did God take him? Why can’t I find someone to love me? Why do I have to go through this alone? What will I do now that I am alone? Why does it hurt so much? All these questions are universal. One size fits all. No one wants to talk about it really, but when it rolls over you like a bulldozer, most are desperate to tell someone why they are flattened on the road like a pancake. Please listen to me? Won’t you just lend me your ear? Then maybe, when I say it out loud the excruciating pain will turn to a dull ache. As the words pour out, the one listening understands, puts an arm around the shoulder and that becomes the balm. Comfort!
We just came through the Holiday season where the numbers of lonely people rise. Personally, I think the numbers don’t really rise, I think that people are more acutely aware of their loneliness. Their loss is compounded by the fact that they each have to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking of what they are going to do on Thanksgiving Day if they have no one to share it with? What will they do on Christmas day if they have no one to buy them a gift, to surprise them? Who will say Happy New Year to them or kiss them when clock strikes midnight? Those are three days out of 365 days of a year that cause so much anxiety to those whose hearts are empty. Then comes Valentines Day…don’t even get me started.
A friend who recently lost her husband this past year is just now experiencing such loss in the face of her future. She is still having to face “the firsts” of her year. The first holiday without her spouse. The first anniversary without flowers from him. It is heartbreaking to know the pain she is still going to feel in the coming days. Another friend who just recently divorced is facing the future alone. Wondering if she will ever find love again. What if she dies alone, she asks? Yes, she did ask…she’s only in her 30’s, I rolled my eyes and said, “I am way older than you, I am the one who will die alone!” I can be such a pessimist. Still another friend has been alone for some time. The loneliness flows over her in waves. It is unbearable at times. Not knowing what God may or may not have in store. One friend of mine is facing the empty nest. Her whole life wrapped up in caring for her children and soon they will no longer be in her home for her dote on. She wonders what she will do with her time.
"So friend, when your nights are filled with loneliness and your days are dark with discouragement, when you just can’t seem to read or pray or to do anything else, just sit still and let God love you." Elisabeth Elliot
I can relate to each one of these ladies. Loss, divorce, loneliness sweeping over at unexpected times and soon facing the empty nest, while several years down the road, the time seems to loom over me. As the years go by it never gets easier. It is the same wave of emotion, never changing its powerful surge, that besets me without notice. Depending on my physical status, strength of faith and state of mind at the moment of the wave will determine whether I remain standing or get knocked on my behind. I can tell you that I have been down more than up a few times.
They say loneliness is a disease that spreads through society. Loneliness May Be Catching Maybe there is a clue in the article for all us lonely-prone people. Find non-lonely people to hang with and let them rub off on you.
I know I have witnessed the destructive side of loneliness. It ravages the brokenhearted and weak. It brings many to a dark place that is hard to come out of. It sends a myriad of others to a bottle or a pill. It takes no prisoners. It also does not discriminate. It takes the young, old, any ethnicity, women and men. It can be seen in acts of desperation and harm. It shows no mercy. But the one thing it is not is comforting. It certainly does not bring joy or peace.
Look back at the previous paragraph and replace the word loneliness with the word sin. Now I am not saying that feeling lonely is a sin but I do think Satan uses it to cause us to quit, to give up or worse to turn our back on God himself. God gave us our emotions. He wanted us to experience all the good the world had to give. But it was the sin in the Garden of Eden that opened our eyes to good and evil. To shame, to hate and to loneliness. I believe God uses the loneliness in our lives to draw us to Him. He gives us the choice of where we will find comfort.
"I am oftimes driven to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.”
I suppose many who read this think that I am suffering from loneliness right this very minute. You would be far from the truth. Actually I have been suffering from pain in my back since Saturday. Today is the first day that I could stand up straight and walk without grabbing a hold of something. Yes I had something else to focus on in the past few days. Why do I tell you about my back problem? Well it brings up my next point. It all comes down to what and who we believe and what we allow to consume our thoughts. I have learned over these past five years that the greatest weapon I have within me is the Holy Spirit. Why do I have the Holy Spirit? Because when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior He came to live inside me through that which is called the “Holy Spirit” or “Holy Ghost”. It is the spirit that allows me to overcome my sins, my struggles and temptations. But I must allow the spirit to work. If I refuse His help then I refuse my greatest victory.
How do I, Michelle, overcome the loneliness that seems to cripple me at times? I learn to work with the Holy Spirit within my mind. I hide God’s scripture in my heart that speaks truth to the loneliness. Then as the truth is spoken aloud the loneliness finds it purpose in my life. What do you mean? Let me explain.
The verse Hebrews 13:5b says, “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Is that truth? Do you believe it? If I believe it then I know that He, Jesus is right there beside me. And He will not leave me. Then I am not alone.
My flesh might say, “but Lord I can’t see you, I want a person, someone with skin on.”
Then the Holy Spirit speaks to me, “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalm 107:3
Do you believe that? If I believe it then I know there is nothing or no one who can satisfy or fill me as the Lord can. Then I will be filled
My flesh tries one more time, “but Lord, I want to be loved by someone!”
And quicker than the blink of an eye, within my spirit, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3
Do you believe that? How can I argue with that? How can I remain lonely? I know that I am loved.
The loneliness is gone!
What is the purpose of loneliness in my life, you ask? Maybe in a few days, or weeks, maybe even years I won’t have to even have this conversation with my Lord. I will just know and the “loneliness” becomes “fulfillment”.
Do you believe that?
With grace and much hope for your fulfillment in Him in this new year….shell