“The most terrible poverty is loneliness. and the feeling of being unloved.”
This will be a very transparent post of my heart poured into the next few words you will find here. I have hesitated with sharing my story here with this but then thought that if for one moment someone else feels seen here by my words then it is worth the deep soul wrenching journey to share.
For a long time I have struggled with the feelings of loneliness. I have a beautiful family and I have friends that I reach out to but some how I still have felt so alone. As I began to search my heart and explore why this has been true for the greater part of my life. I have come to realize that as a little girl these feelings began. Many times as a child I felt locked inside myself with all these feelings and emotions with no outlets. I felt more unsafe than I ever felt safe. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home where people were not really invited into our home space to protect the secrets being lived out there. I watched my beautiful mom live life completely alone besides raising us as children. I literally watched her disconnect from the world outside of our home unless she was going to church or getting errands done. Can you imagine seeing someone in the world but totally disconnected from everything in the world. I then felt her disconnect from us except for the care she had to give to us as a parent. I remember reaching for her emotionally many times but she felt so very far away. I never knew anything about her life, her childhood her hopes her dreams not even her disappointments. I remember not being touched a lot as a child but craving it. Inside of me, years of feeling that level of rejection caused me to feel like it was safer to be alone. So I began building my protective force around myself. I decided that no one would break it down because if I allowed them in I would risk feeling the pain of my childhood again.
Loneliness is a very powerful feeling. It isolates you in your mind even if you are in a crowd or surrounded by those you love and that love you. I think that one of the most important steps to helping us with loneliness is one of the hardest steps and that is acknowledging that it is truly what we are feeling. Just to clarify for you, being alone and loneliness are two different things. Being alone is more of a physical thing but loneliness is more of a strong emotion. Loneliness causes such a deep feeling of being alone, emptiness and being unwanted. I long so desperately for human contact but yet feel so fearful of building that connection in relationship that lead towards it. Loneliness to me has even felt in some ways like being abandoned. I find such comfort in this scripture, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you”. This passage reminds me that God is with me even if I am wrestling with feelings of loneliness. It tells me clearly that he will never fail me nor will he abandon me. I take the word of God as promises from him and his promises apply to me as well as to you.
If you are reading this and you struggle with loneliness just as I have and sometimes still do. I am not going to try to convince you that you are not alone or that you should not feel that way. The feelings of loneliness are real and can feel so painful but, what I can tell you is that God sees you and he knows exactly what you are facing right now. He knows those feelings of loneliness and the deep struggle you and I have with them. I know how it feels to sit in a room full of people but feel like you are so alone. I know what it feels like to long for connection and community on one hand, but be terrified of it on the other. Does having these two things take loneliness away, NO, but they surely have been a help to me in my personal struggle with it.
Oh sweet one I know the feelings so deeply in my bones. The war of loneliness raging within but then the beauty of Gods peace fills me over and over again reminding me of who I am and whose I am. I pray today that in this struggle that you will know that God is with you. I pray you will know that what you are feeling is valid and important. I pray that you will know that you are seen and known of God. Please don’t be ashamed nor embarrassed because you might be feeling this, I know there are times I struggle with feeling ashamed of feeling lonely. If you are married and feeling alone please know that it doesn’t mean that you have a bad marriage, those feelings of loneliness are still just as real. Marriage is not a cure for loneliness and being single does not necessarily mean that you have to struggle with loneliness. I do feel that when we struggle with feelings of loneliness, we should take time to explore those feelings. Look at where we think they are coming from? Could they have anything to do with feelings from our childhood. Could they in any way be connected to a deeper unmet need or even a mental health condition. Examine those feelings, explore them and let God walk you into a place of freedom.
Prayer: Lord Jesus the feelings of loneliness are so heavy right now. I feel so unseen and so alone. The pain of loneliness is eating me up from within. I don’t understand these feelings but I know that you know me so deeply because you created me. God please help me to walk through this place with strength and courage. Thank you that you are always with me. Amen