If I’m being completely honest, the number one thing that the enemy uses to get me down is fueling the stinging pains of loneliness. It doesn’t take much work for him because the very thought of being alone forever shakes me at a core level. God made us for community and even beyond that, He put an overwhelmingly deep and strong desire in my heart for a husband and family.
The deep feelings of loneliness come and go, but the other night in particular was really rough. The thought of being alone, especially being alone forever, rocked my soul and stirred anxiety and doubt within my increasingly distressed heart. I kept catching myself asking, “What is wrong with me?…”
“Am I too much? Am I not enough? Am I pretty enough? Skinny enough? Smart enough? Am I “too Christian”? Am I not “Christian enough”?”
And just like that, I found myself believing the lies of the enemy…
I ended up finding myself reading a book called Uninvited by the amazing Lysa TerKeurst and one line struck me in such a way that it made tears flow. I’m not a crier, but at a time when my soul was deeply broken, this one line found a way to slip through the cracks.
“Jesus was alone too.”
Lysa brought me back to the garden of Gethsemane right before Jesus was taken away to be crucified (Mark 14). Jesus and His disciples were in the garden and Jesus instructed them to pray. He went off to pray alone because His soul was so deeply troubled. He knew the pain to come and He pleaded with the Father to “remove this cup” from Him. But when He returned to where He left the disciples, He found them asleep..
All Jesus asked them to do was pray and they couldn’t help but fall asleep — how often do we find ourselves in the same position as the disciples? Jesus just asks us to do one thing and yet, we can’t even do that… But that’s a whole different blog post…
Lysa continued to explain that even though Jesus had His disciples close by, He knew He was completely alone. “Alone in His understanding of the seriousness of that night. Alone in His pain. Alone in His assignment.”
Oh, how this brought so much comfort to my overwhelmed soul. Jesus, my rock and my firm foundation, knew exactly what it felt like to be alone. He had the weight of the world on His shoulders and He knew pain intimately, even though no one else understood.
Every single hardship that I walk through, including loneliness, Jesus has already walked before me. He knew loneliness intimately and still chose to walk through it before me.
I don’t know where you’re at tonight… Maybe you too know loneliness in a intimate way like me and Jesus. Maybe you’ve wrestled with those same feelings. Maybe you’re wondering what in the world is wrong with you for feeling that way..
Hey, guess what…
You’re not alone in this. And it’s okay. It’s really okay not to be okay, because the best news of all is that Jesus Himself has already walked through it and He has the ultimate victory.
Lysa put it this way, “In the midst of struggles, He is there… I just have to acknowledge that reality. “God, I love You. I don’t love this situation. But I love You. Therefore, I have everything I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and walking through until I get to the other side of this.” One step at a time. With the full assurance that God is okay with me even when I’m not okay with me.“
Even after Jesus’s intimacy with loneliness, He endured the pain of the cross for you and for me. He chose to walk through it so that we might know Him in a much more intimate way than we feel like we know loneliness. That’s good news!
I know that when the stings of loneliness come, it’s hard to get your mind in a better headspace. So here are a few ways to combat those terrible feelings of loneliness:
- Talk to Jesus. He’s been there, done that. He can relate to you because He walked through it too. The best way to combat loneliness is to get alone with Jesus…
- Get in the Word. My Pastor always says, “If you wanna hear the audible voice of God, read your Bible out loud.”
- Blare worship music. This helps to drown out the feelings of loneliness. It’s hard to feel down when you’re holding your hands up to an Almighty Savior.
I know that when loneliness comes, it’s difficult and obviously never fun… But I hope you’re encouraged to know that Jesus is right there with you, and so am I.