The Answer to Loneliness

 

Loneliness affects everyone to some extent.  We are social creatures by design, made to live in community, and help carry one another’s burdens. When a difficult situation arises and we feel a sense of being without companionship, comfort or understanding, we are left feeling isolated and alone.

In December of 2013, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I always associated PTSD with war veterans, something those who faced combat situations experienced. I had no idea that it could also affect those who’ve survived extreme trauma or abuse. Within a year’s time, I went from being someone who thrived on the energy of those around me to someone who began to live in complete isolation.

Solitude isn’t always a bad thing. It can be a refreshing experience that is rejuvenating and enjoyable. It’s healthy to be alone sometimes. In fact, in scripture we see multiple instances where Jesus withdrew to rest and pray:

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16).”

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place (Mark 6:31-32).”

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35).”

But, there is a difference between loneliness and solitude. Solitude, as described above, is a voluntary withdrawal from people. Loneliness, on the other hand, is the want of intimacy.

In other words, no one chooses to be lonely. Loneliness feels like isolation forced upon you. It’s like a dark cloud that looms over you and hangs on despite your best efforts to force it off. If you’ve experienced loneliness like I felt in this season of life, I know you can attest to how painful and draining it can be.

David Legge said this:

“You could be surrounded with all the friends, all the family, all the acquaintances in the world and still be the loneliest soul in existence.”

I was not alone, but I was most certainly lonely. There were people in my life that attempted to connect with me, but it didn’t feel like they could truly relate.

In the end, the few that I opened up to slowly started to distance themselves from my life. I blamed myself, wondering what I did or said to push them away. I started to question my own sense of worthiness. I found myself looking everywhere except to God for comfort and rest. As a result, the “loneliness cloud” grew violent in strength.

The problem with looking to the world for answers, or entering into a relationship with someone, expecting them to make you happy, is that you will always be let down eventually. That’s because only God was meant to fill the void in our heart.

Can you identify with feelings of loneliness?

Have you ever been surrounded by friends, family, or coworkers and yet felt completely alone?

Whether your loneliness is due to a loss, broken relationship, or personal pattern of isolating, I want you to know that God cares for you, and can identify with your sorrow and grief! The bible tells us this:

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).”

“He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief… (Isaiah 53:3)”

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens (Psalm 68:19).”

God’s desire is to draw you into relationship with Himself and others:

“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion… (Isaiah 30:19)”

“Come near to God and he will come near to you… (James 4:8)”

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).”

We’ve all experienced the sense of being without sympathy or support within our relationships, especially in troublesome situations. Don’t fall into the enemy’s trap of living in isolation. The bible teaches that at the deepest level, loneliness is worked out in Godly relationships. Open up to God and confess to Him your struggles. He may be using a season of loneliness in your life to get your attention and prompt you to draw near to Himself and other believers. It’s only then that you will begin to trust, start to heal, and utilize the support he promises to bring.

18 thoughts on “The Answer to Loneliness”

  1. I love all the scripture. Thank you so much for this. I know what it is like to feel lonely. There is that deep desire to feel known, but a hole that doesn’t feel it at all. I loved this line, because it is so true: “The problem with looking to the world for answers, or entering into a relationship with someone, expecting them to make you happy, is that you will always be let down eventually. ” I cheer you on wildly from the Purposeful Faith #RaRalinkup; your words bring hope.

  2. Tina, so true-God is the only cure for loneliness. At some point or another, we all feel lonely, I believe. God alone is truly supposed to fill the emptiness. I do find comfort in the body of Christ, but ultimately God is the one who cures my loneliness. Thanks for this encouraging post! Visiting from #raralinkup!

  3. Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. And prayed.

    My heart aches as I can’t imagine the trauma that precipitated PTSD. Yet I can comprehend the loneliness. Having lost a child, some folks wanted to avoid me like it was contagious. Lonely. Empty. Void. HAD to be filled.

    And prayed…to renew my mind, to rewire my thinking, to allow His Word to DO His Work, in me. And prayed. Again. and Again, and Again. And open up to the support He brings.

    So beautiful. HUGS, my sweet friend, And thank you for joining the dance today at #DanceWithJesus Friday. Susan

    1. Susan, I can’t imagine the loss of a child. The loneliness you must have felt would bring anyone to despair. I praise God for answering your prayers and your obedience to do His work. You are such an encouragement to me! Hugs & Blessings to you, Tina

    1. I’m glad to hear; Thanks for visiting & have a blessed day!

      PS: I tried to visit your page and leave a comment under your post entitled “Help Me Jesus” but was unable to. The page kept refreshing, leaving large portions of it blank, including the comments section. 🙁

  4. Very blessed to have read these words of yours! 🙂 I am going through a period of loneliness during the days when my husband is at work. Fellowship is hard as I have found it difficult to bond closely with any women from church. I pray that the Lord will bring me into close friendships soon… thank you for sharing at Grace & Truth! 🙂

    1. I can definitely relate, Ruth. I’m having a similar issue with the body of believers I meet with each week. I’m sure that in my case it’s more an issue with social anxiety than anything else, but it’s a struggle none the less.

      Your love for God and passion to encourage others is evident in your writing. It’s hard to come by someone so open, honest and “real.” I’m surprised to hear you are having difficulty connecting closely with other women in your church. Praying the Lord brings ladies into your life (soon!) that build up and encourage your heart.

  5. Hi Tina! How nice to meet you today through the RaRa Link-up!

    You make a wonderful point about isolation and being alone. I have certainly experienced both of them. I am so sorry about your PTSD diagnosis, that must have been a real surprise. So many times we have no idea what’s causing the problems, until we look back…
    Your Scripture quotes are wonderful support. I can see how much they hugged you tight. I pray that you are feeling better! And how great that you can turn this into a teaching moment for us all.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    1. Hi Ceil! It’s so nice to connect with you. I’m glad you joined us this week for #RaRaLinkup. We have such a wonderful community of believers who overflow God’s love and encouragement each week. I pray you find your spirits uplifted and your heart blessed! Thanks for stopping by to comment and introduce yourself. God bless, Tina 🙂

  6. Tina, I love that you give and share with us so freely. So many hearts will be blessed and encouraged by this. I’m sure that we’ve all felt the disheartening sense of loneliness at some point in our lives, but thank GOD that we have the benefit of finding strength, peace, and love through HIS WORD and in HIS PRESENCE. Thank you for sharing this! May HIS favor rest upon and within you always! 🙂

    1. Bless your heart of encouragement, Tai! I am so thankful for you! I share openly, hoping the Lord will utilize the trials in my life to help others grow, and realize they are not alone. I can’t count how many times I’ve asked myself, “Am I the only one who feels like this??” It’s been a blessing to connect with so many through blogging. God has used it to answer that heart’s cry and in the process, bring Himself glory.

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