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.

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

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I’ve been missing.  Missing writing.  Missing my blog.  Missing days that seem to zoom by too quickly.  Missing moments because I am too caught up in the next moment coming.  Simply missing.

But, here I am now.  Choosing today to begin again and not miss my writing and my blogging.  One thing that has struck me over and over again these past months is how hard it is to be present in the moment.  Everything around me begs for my attention to the next thing, the big idea, the Plan A, the “what are we going to do … ” and “how are we going to …”  It is almost just as tumultuous to try and plan as it is to stay in the present!  DSC_1357

Just this morning, I was reminded of my Savior’s words in Matthew 6 – “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  I used to think that was easy…and it some aspects it is, and if embraced can be quite freeing.  But these days, that seems to be very hard when our future looms with big life decisions for our family (you know- college, dating, adult-hood for our kids…).

Alas, though, these burdens are too much for me to carry and I am not meant to carry them.  I have One Who rules the world, Who sees the yesterdays, todays and tomorrows, and Who loves me beyond comprehension.  That One is on my side and I turn to Him.  Releasing these worries and burdens and trusting Him.  He is a good God who has a plan, sees the big picture, and I can trust Him.  Period.

So – here is to hoping I am one step closer to departing from dwelling in the land of the Missing and beginning a journey to the land of the Present.

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?