Thriving In Seasons of Loneliness and Singleness
Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever struggled in a season of singleness? Have you ever felt isolated from others? Have you ever wondered why God is allowing it? I suppose everyone has felt this way at one time or another. On nights like tonight, I struggle with what to write because the feelings of loneliness and lack crash down upon me. These are familiar feelings from the past and they tend to rise up in times of mental, physical and spiritual exhaustion. Surely I am not the only person who feels this, like something is missing? It is during these times I feel an overwhelming need for someone to talk to, someone to listen to, someone to hold me when I am sad or grieving, or someone to lend an extra helping hand to get things done, the comfort that only another person can give.
God understands this need for human partnership and wrote about it in His Word. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 it states, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Even in the book of Genesis-2:18 the Lord our God stated, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” It is evident that God made us to depend on other people. So why would he ever allow seasons of singleness or loneliness in our lives?
Seven years ago my life abruptly changed. After years of raising my three children, plus helping with another three, I suddenly found myself alone. As I look back I see it was a time of cleansing, of God renewing my spirit, filling me with his love and strength. It was a time to show me who His Son, Jesus Christ, truly was in my life. Over the years I have always worked, sometimes two jobs, along with taking care of my family. All of these responsibilities have gotten in the way of hearing God’s voice. The business kept me distracted from the loneliness but it also kept me distracted from God. It was through this struggle that I realized my deep need for God to satisfy my soul. I realized I needed to make time for Him by reading the bible, studying the scriptures, learning to pray, and participating in church and bible studies. These things needed to be the priority of my life instead of just going through the motions. This realization led me to confront my business head on. 2 Corinthians 7:1 states, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” It was time to bring God back into my life, placing him first.
I am finding in this season of my life, the path I am to take is one of being physically alone but never spiritually alone. Alone is not a word that feels good. Satan can and will use this word to knock us down, taking our past insecurities, throwing them back in our face. It is at this time that we must stay strong in the word of God, rebuking the lies from Satan, knowing in our hearts we are not alone. God is forever with us. He tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) He is always there, but we must first place him above all others in our lives, asking for his guidance.
I once had someone tell me they were envious of all the free time I have available living a single life. “God time,” they called it. At the same time I was envious of them living with a spouse, having someone to do life with, talk to, and nurture. But when I allow the peace of God to come over me, the feeling of envy slips away and I remember the deep, unique, intimate, and meaning relationship I have with God. The spirits of lack and deficiency periodically come back to haunt me, but God’s Word is my weapon, His armor is my protection, the precious blood of His Son is my redeeming grace, and His love fills me with a peace beyond all understanding. I lack nothing in Christ, and He fills me with “the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Before Jesus was going to die on the cross, He told his disciples they would soon abandon Him out of fear for their own lives. He would be left alone but he stated, “Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.”(John 16:32b) Our Heavenly Father is always with us. Our needs are met when we take time to meet with God, vocalizing our needs, submitting our requests in prayer, receiving forgiveness of sin, meditating on the truth, and gathering with other believers for mutual support and encouragement. We are his beloved children, and because of the love He has for us, we will never be alone.