I think about the times when I’ve experienced loneliness. Sometimes it’s been in a large crowd and other times it’s been when I am by myself. Loneliness is not about being alone but instead about feeling alone. That’s why just being with people doesn’t bring relief; and also why we can be alone but not necessarily lonely.
The root of loneliness comes from separation. The fall of mankind, when Adam and Eve sinned, created a separation from God, ourselves and others. In Ephesians 4:18 the apostle Paul describes the person who has yet to come to know Christ as separated and alienated from the life of God. When we come into a relationship with Jesus Christ, we are connected to the One who is Life. He is able to shower us with His presence in our inner being. Not only does God give us His presence, we also are fully known.
God knows us and enters into our story like no human being can. Even the people we confide in the most and feel closest to cannot or did not “go with us” in every chapter like God does; simply for the reason that being human limits us. I find it interesting that the definition of loneliness includes, “not frequented by human beings, being without company, cut off from others.”
It is important to remind ourselves when we feel lonely that God alone “frequents” places where human beings cannot. As our Creator, He connects to our hearts, our desires, our struggles, our history, and every aspect of who we are. We can cry out to Him, asking for a fresh experience of His presence and the realities below.
God knows our thoughts and secrets. Mark 2:8
God knows why we respond the way we do. Luke 5:45
God knows our life experiences including the things we have been through. Psalm 139:16
God knows the movements we make, like when we sit down or stand up. Psalm 139:2
God knows the motives behind our actions and is eager to reward good. Jeremiah 17:10
With that said, I do believe we can work toward connecting on a deeper level to people around us so that we experience the love of God through others. I have found that understanding myself and being in touch with my own heart allows me the ability to help others know me. If you struggle with knowing your inner self and expressing how you are doing or feeling I encourage you to seek out a counselor or wise mentor who can help bring discernment and draw you out.
I also see that moving toward people and risking vulnerability is vital to overcoming loneliness. Donald Miller the author of multiple books offers the following insight, “Loneliness is something that happens to us, but I think it is something we can move ourselves out of. I think a person who is lonely should dig into a community, give himself to a community, humble himself before his friends, initiate community, teach people to care for each other, love each other. Jesus does not want us floating through space or sitting in front of our televisions. Jesus wants us interacting, eating together, laughing together, praying together. Loneliness is something that came with the fall. ..If loving other people is a bit of heaven then certainly isolation is a bit of hell, and to that degree, here on earth, we decide in which state we like to live.”
May God’s presence and company be with you in a special way sister.