Loving the Lonely

lovingthelonely

 

Confession time, ladies! Sometimes I feel the most alone when in the midst of the most people. (*Cue gasps and shocked faces*!)

I’m just being honest! You probably know how I feel. Like when the whole family is together (aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers-in-law, etc.), and you’re sitting awkwardly in the corner. A little nagging feeling starts somewhere near your heart and spreads out through the rest of your body. How is it fair that they all have someone to share this with and you’re just sitting there alone in a corner? A CORNER, for heaven’s sake!

You may think I’m being a little dramatic, and maybe I am, but it’s pretty close to the truth. The thing is, you and I aren’t the first ones to feel this way.

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.”

Psalm 25:16-18

Okay, if even David felt alone from time to time, I think we’re in good company here. It’s human nature to want to share life with someone, and when everyone has a ‘someone’ and you don’t, it can get hard to take. Don’t get me started on grandparents and their constant questions about my relationship status!

Loneliness can feel all-consuming and even leave an empty feeling inside, but you don’t have to feel that way. You’re never really alone if you think about it. The Bible says the following about that:

“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20b

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

So, boom! Right there. You’ve got God right next to you the whole time. Your argument is invalid.

But I get it. You want someone you can see, feel, touch, and talk to. You want a physical human being. I get that, too. I’m the same way. We “waiters” tend to feel an acute sense of loss because we haven’t found our gain yet.

So here’s an idea, and one I use all the time if we’re being honest. (Which we are.) Write a letter.

Stop laughing, I’m serious! I have a whole collection of them so far. I’ve titled them “The Darcy Letters,” which is a story best told some other time when I have more time and word to say it. Basically, when I feel that lonely feeling, when I want someone to share something with me and don’t have them yet, I write a letter to my future husband.

Yes, I am aware I don’t know who he is yet, but that doesn’t stop me from sharing these moments with him via letters. I plan to one day give these to my fiance and allow him a look into my life before he came alone. Tip: Keep them upbeat and positive. We’re not trying to depress our fellas.

In review: everyone feels lonely sometimes. You’re really not alone in that. You CAN take control of your feelings, and you CAN do something about it. Don’t let loneliness define your life. Let love work it all back around to complete you.

I love all you lonely “waiters” out there! Don’t feel alone, be strong and stick together!

To Be Seen, To Be Known

ToBeSeen

Have you ever felt invisible, as if no one can see you?  A few weeks ago, I sat with a woman who was lamenting about being overlooked.  Her heart wanted desperately to be seen as valuable, worthy, capable, and a blessing.  As we dug deeper through our conversation, she shared that she had been overlooked her whole life.  Then she said these words.

I think this is why I am fat.  I am making myself seen.  You can’t help but see me.

At first, I was stunned to hear this woman speak these words.  I have known her for years, and I would hardly consider her a woman who was invisible.  She was one of the first women I was drawn to at our church, because of her beautiful heart for God. Her infectious sense of humor and her wisdom.  I sought her out, and yet she feels invisible.

Then I began to reflect on women in my circle. Including myself.  There is the woman who incredibly loud, The woman who dresses over the top for all occasions.  There is the woman who is always up for anything, the life of the part.  The woman who posts a million photos on Facebook and Instagram.  The woman who always has something to say in every conversation.  The woman who is quick to raise her hand, volunteering on every committee and project.

I wondered, how many of these women were just trying to be seen, to be known.

I thought about all of the times when I have cried out to God, and it seemed like He didn’t hear me.  I thought about the number of occasions I was waving my arms at God saying “pick me, use me” and felt He had passed me by.

Have you ever felt invisible to God?

But whoever loves God is known by God.

1 Corinthians 8:3

His word tells us that He knew us as we were being stitched together in our mother’s womb, that he knows our voice, He knows those who belong to Him, he calls us by name.

Last week, I stood in line at the Deli section of the grocery store waiting for my number to cue.  I watched the people working behind the counter rushing to serve each customer efficiently but quickly.  When it was my turn, I used all the manners I had been raised with.  Please.  May I have…?  Then, as she handed me my last package, I glanced down at her name tag.  “Thank you, Linda.  Have a great weekend.”

I was no different than the customers before me, with one exception.  I called her by name.  I saw her.  She was known.  I watched the stress lift from her face, her eyes light up, and the corners of her lips turn up into a smile.  I made eye contact with her, smiled back, and went about my day.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

The Lord knows you, by name.  You are His, and the Lord is the Good Shepherd, who tends to the needs of His flock.  We may not always understand where our Shepherd is leading us, or why He asked us to wait.  But, he has not forgotten us.  He is the Shepherd, who seeks the one lost sheep.  The Creator who provides for the sparrows of the field.  The Lamb, who was slain for my sins, … your sins.  He gave His life for you that you would be covered by the blood and saved FOR eternity with Him.

When the road is weary, the wait is tiring, and your strength seems to fade, remember His promises.  Wait on Him.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 28Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

      29He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.

      30Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,

      31Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.