Being Lonely

This blog post by Lysa T. has rumbled through my feeds and emails these past weeks.  At first, it was just the headline – “If you ever feel lonely, read this.”  That initiated a skim, but not a reading.  Then, it appeared in my Facebook posts…I read a little more and thought – wow, this is more than just your normal “you are lonely, trust in God” post.   Still, though, it took one more pop up in my email for me to sit and read.  And absorb.  The line that began the deep dive:

And the great thing about gathering with people you just know you’re going to bond with is that they will get you. Really get you … like on the level of having inside jokes that makes every conversation comfortable and delightful.  I couldn’t wait to be with these people…

I have been there – exactly at that point – and had the same type of thing happen – being so alone amidst the many who were supposed to KNOW you were feeling lonely and be your BFF, right?  And then later on in the story, she says:

I wasn’t just in this place (feeling rejected) at the dinner that night. I’ve been in whole seasons of my life where, though I had people around, I felt quite alone in my calling.

20141216_LysaBut then there is hope, and as usual it is all about perspective.  What if I view this time differently, as Lysa says?

There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl chooses to look past being set aside to see God’s call for her to be set apart.
Oh Lord – is that how you’d have me view those seasons?  I have been through those, been on the other side of those seasons, and I know there will be more ahead.  They are hard.  Lonely.  Full of doubt and questions of your calling and gifting – especially when it seems my unique gifts don’t fit in the normal box what those around me have (or so it seems).  But, Who created me?  Who made me with these giftings and gave me my calling?  Who made me unique and designed me from my mother’s womb?  And if it is the same Who who walks alongside me now, it makes little sense to doubt Him now.  Rather, wouldn’t it make more sense to lean into Him, trusting Him, asking for His comfort, as He is the great Comforter.
I’ll end with the wisdom that Lysa T shared in her blog on next steps when you are feeling this way.   Take the time to read her whole post – it is well worth it.  Thank you, Lysa, for sharing.

1. Look for the gift of being humbled.

Proverbs 11:2b reminds us that “with humility comes wisdom” (NIV). In this set apart place, God will give you special wisdom you’ll need for the assignment ahead.

2. Look for the gift of being lonely.

This will develop in you a deeper sense of compassion for your fellow travelers. You better believe when I walk into a conference now I look for someone sitting alone and make sure they know someone noticed them.

3. Look for the gift of silence.

Had I been surrounded by the voices of those people I was so eager to meet that night, I would have surely missed the voice of God. I’m trying to weave more silence into the rhythm of my life now so I can whisper, “God what might You want to say to me right now? I’m listening.”

I know it can be painful to be alone. And I know the thoughts of being set aside are loud and overwhelmingly tempting to believe in the hollows of feeling unnoticed and uninvited.

But as you pray through your feelings, see if maybe your situation has more to do with you being prepared than you being overlooked.

There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl chooses to look past being set aside to see God’s call for her to be set apart.

Dear Lord, help me see the gifts hidden in this season of loneliness. I’m believing today that I’m set apart, not set aside. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 15:16a, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you.” (NLT)

– See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/if-you-ever-feel-lonely-read-this/#sthash.1oM2S0Ac.dpuf

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Missing in Action

So, I’ve been silent for a bit.  Lots of thinking going on over here in NC.  Some days I feel lucky to make it to bed without a major meltdown of my own (meltdown of the children is expected….).  I am excited, though, about what the future holds.  I am at peace with what the present holds.  And, the past is the past, as Paul says –

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.“—Philippians 3:13–14 NLT

So, how are you?  Do you look forward to what lies ahead?  What lies ahead for you?

The Cave

Do you ever have moments when you want to take your family, rush into the middle of no where and just settle. Away from the pressures of life. Away from the pressures of their peers. Away from bad decisions. Away from bad people. Away from busy-ness. Away from the many things that consume us that simply don’t matter. I call it my cave.

Often times when I hear bad news, or when I hear of struggles of friends or watch others make choices that are not wise, I start thinking of my cave. We’d be happy. We’d be self-sufficient. And, we’d have no influences but our own (again, this is MY cave, remember). Yet, what wouldn’t’ we have? Connection with the rest of our family. Connection with others to teach us and train us. Learning moments. And most importantly, we would not be the salt and light in the world.

“There is a reason why Jesus calls His disciples salt and light. We know that salt and light only make a difference when it makes contact. Salt can only preserve something that’s rotting when it makes contact with what it is that it’s rotting. You know, light can only shine in the darkness if it makes contact with the darkness. ”   Ed Stetzer

Crystal

My husband – I love the man.  He is unique and as the years have gone by, I chuckle at us.  Why, you say?  Let me give you an example.

This past weekend, we got to enjoy a few days alone in Washington DC while the girls were watched by Grammy and Grandpa in Raleigh.  Yay!  We went to the mall one of the evenings and guess where we spent the most time…….yep, you’ll never guess, so I’ll just tell you – in the Waterford Crystal Department.

The man simply has ‘fine’ tastes.  Me – I have fine taste after its’ been downgraded at the thrift store.  He simply ooh’d and aww’d at the crystal while I kept my hands deep in my pockets, and stayed in the aisle.  I am not the most graceful of people……..in fact, my main aversion to Crystal is simply this – one day I’ll have to wash it and on that day, the stars will all align and I’ll trip over my feet, hit the dog, bang my head on the counter, twist my ankle, and fall clutching the crystal he so dearly loves, only to hit a child trying to rescue me and thus breaking the beautiful crystal upon her head.

Maybe one day, my dear…..but if we ever do buy those pretty glasses, you gotta wash them…… 😉