Although each life path walked is unique, we are united in that none of us knows what lies ahead of us. Each obstacle we are to face remains hidden until we are standing before it, intimidated and possibly afraid. Thankfully we have an all-knowing God on our side that may not always reveal every obstacle we are to face, but is with us every step of the way, and if we cling to Him, we will never be crushed by the roads ahead.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
God also surrounds us with people who have the power to make this journey even more beautiful and meaningful. I love people; as moody and uptight as I can be (at times), I literally open up in the presence of people; I love meeting new people, connecting with them and helping them in any way that I can.
Over time, these core traits have been mediated by some negative experiences. At the beginning of last year, I decided that I wasn’t going to make any new friends because people simply couldn’t be trusted. I was so tired of being hurt, misused and exploited that I disconnected from people and my encounters with new people became shallow; even my current friends felt like they were extracting blood from a stone every time I was required to talk about an issue I was facing. It took a good friend of mine to let me know that I was acting in fear and the Jesus I supposedly loved and followed didn’t love people in the distant manner I had adopted. Jesus was compassionate and loving; while he did not give himself to people (John 2:24), he never stopped loving them (1 John 4:19).
Unfortunately, by this point, the damage had been done. Close friends had become strangers and I had become accustom the silence, more comfortable spending the evening with Meredith Grey and my Grey’s Anatomy family than real people. Although I was lonely, I felt safe. I now know that it was a dangerous place to be in. In the moments of solitude it was easier to overthink, overanalyse and become consumed with things, which in the grand scheme of things, did not matter. It was easier to shift my focus from God to my problems; it was easier to become self-absorbed and selfish, forgetting that as I cut myself off from people, I had also cut them off from the resources God had deposited within me that they might have needed.
There was a point last year (I think it was around this time actually) that I realised that God was calling me to Him; He wanted me for Himself. He wanted to grow me, nurture me, and reveal to my strengths and my weaknesses. Just as Jesus had to leave the crowd to pray and to seek God (Mark 1:35), God wanted me to stop being so consumed with being a part of the crowd; He wanted me to leave it all behind in search of Him.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
He wanted me to stop being concerned with my Instagram and Twitter accounts, this friend and that friend, and become consumed with Him. Although it was a difficult process and I was mostly alone, I never felt lonely. I was content with Him. I would spend hours seeking Him, reading His word, praying and learning about His ways.
Last week I felt lonely. Not the content kind that God ordered last year, but the isolating, crippling, do-i-really-have-a-place-here sort of lonely. This feeling caused me to do more of everything: I ate more, gymed more, posted more on my social networking sites, read more and thought more; it was a week of ‘more’. But despite my attempts to fill myself up and be okay, these things didn’t satisfy the lonely. It is only when I began to write this post that I realised that I was searching in all the wrong places; all I had to do was press into God, spend more time with Him and let Him reaffirm my worth, answer my questions and calm my anxious heart.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are feeling lonely and you are trying to fill yourself up with parties, sex, drugs, work, food – it won’t work. Maybe you’ve never had a relationship with Jesus before and you’ve tried everything to satisfy the loneliness you feel; I implore you try Jesus. I wish I could speak with you personally and tell how far I’ve come because of Him. Millions of people across the globe exist as evidence of His love and grace; I hope you give Him a try.
Maybe you’re reading this and you’re already a Christian but you’re battling feelings of loneliness and depression. I invite you to press into God; cry out to Him, show Him where you are hurting and have the expectation that He will heal you. Leave the crowd behind, get alone with Him and watch him take away the loneliness you feel.
All my love,
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