A Solution for Loneliness
"The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone …’" Genesis 2:18a (HCSB)
I’m in the midst of a challenging project for my career. And maybe challenging projects are exciting to you, but what it really means for me is sitting for hours on end in sweatpants starring at a blinking cursor.
Showers have become optional.
Reading documents aloud to your dog starts to feel normal.
And cereal accounts for dinner at least two nights a week.
This project is my dream. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a lifetime. So, I feel badly for the next words I’m about to say. But, this dream feels incredibly … lonely.
Most days, it’s just me and my thoughts for hours and hours. Sometimes I’ll email a few thoughts to a friend and ask her honest opinion on it, but 90% of the time, it’s just me and my thoughts.
And when that’s the company you keep for days, your thoughts can mess with you:
You can’t really do this.
They picked the wrong woman for this project.
Deadlines and the other demands have made this season almost impossible to incorporate time with friends. But as I’ve talked with other women, it seems I’m not alone in my loneliness struggle.
I hear women all the time say, "I feel so … isolated."
For some, it has to do with hectic schedules — there’s no time for friendships. Others have been deeply wounded by people — there’s no desire for community. And many, like me, are in a different season of life than others in their circle of friends.
But the other day, a friend unexpectedly stopped by to pick up something. A family member opened the door, while I was in sweatpants, hadn’t had a shower and really just wanted to sit in my office. But I knew my friend would think it very rude if I didn’t at least say hello.
So I took a deep breath, excused my appearance (which thankfully she cared nothing about) and we ended up in an hour-long conversation. We didn’t talk about work or deadlines … we just shared about our lives.
And it was the most refreshing hour I’d had in a long time. I left that conversation with confidence to get back into my working rhythm.
As I read Genesis 2:18a, I was reminded how from the very beginning, God designed us to be in relationship with others: "Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone, …’"
Although this verse refers to the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, it’s clear God created us with a longing, a need, to have people speak into our lives.
It’s so easy for us to forget this. Or let our pride convince us we don’t need people in our corner. Isolation’s biggest lie is that we somehow are capable of thriving through life without someone by our side.
So my friend, I don’t know if this is your struggle today or if it’s one to come. But keep that lunch date, take the time to pick up the phone to chat and invite those people back into your life.
I promise … it’s worth it.
Dear God, help me see the people You have put in my life as a gift from You, for my good. Let me embrace them and invest my time into relationships. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ecclesiastes 4:12, "And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken." (HCSB)
Proverbs 27:9, "Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel." (HCSB)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you feeling isolated today? Here are a few ideas to help you get out of this place:
1. Join a new community group with people of similar interests: your church, photography, cooking, gardening, etc. … there’s a TON of people who would love to be part of the things you enjoy.
2. Be the inviter. Sometimes we want someone to invite us for lunch or a coffee date, but there’s someone out there who would LOVE to be invited by YOU.
What other ideas do you have? Share your thoughts on this today in the comment section.
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