It plagues all of us, yet it’s an epidemic not commonly discussed in everyday circles.
I mean, who has time to be lonely? We are keeping ourselves quite busy, thank you very much!
And that, wherein, lies the problem.
It blinds root issues and numbs heartbeats.
There are two distinct seasons I’ve experienced deep oceans of loneliness~ my freshman year at college, and being a mom.
I recall jumping into APU, with all the passion and anticipation one can fathom, only to be greeted at the door with a new-found loneliness. Many afternoons I sat in the dorm lobby, books splattered around my chair, intent on studying, my eyes darting every time someone walked through the door… hoping, willing them to approach me. To befriend me.
Perhaps that’s why coffee shops are crammed with folks staring at their laptops and reading books, to escape the loneliness they’d otherwise feel if doing the same task at home. Alone.
There’s a reassurance of having people nearby, even if it’s simply sensing another stranger hovered over their computer or engrossed in a book, at the table next to ours.
We all need community, whether we realize it or not!
Then I became a mom. Just like that. In one flat second, I went from career gal to stay-at-home superstar, doing the best I could to love on a little bundle that required 36 hours of attention in a 24 hour span.
It was not glamorous.
It was exhausting.
I’m confident I would not have survived those hours or days, had it not been for dear friends on the other end of the phone, or on the couch cushion next to me, pouring encouragement, an empathetic ear, or wise suggestions into my thirsty soul.
I crave it.
I need it.
It’s how God designed us… to walk alongside one another, and fill in the lonely holes with laughter and shared tears, a silent nod, or kind gesture.
If I’m really honest, I’ll invite you into the tiny corners of my soul, allow you to peer in, and glimpse layers of loneliness.
It’s something I fight quite often.
And the irony is, I am beyond blessed with dear friends and soul sisters. Some are in the town over, while others are across the nation. But in weak moments, that isn’t enough. In those erratic down- spirals, I’m tempted to force busyness and appear quite fine and dandy.
So to fight the loneliness, those snarling lies telling me that I have no one, I pray off the ugly words in my head, and
focus on others.
I ask myself, how can I make them feel loved today?
‘Cuz chances are, they may be lonely too.
And if each of us is fighting this imaginary, burdensome load of loneliness, imagine what a phone call, or surprise coffee delivery may do! It could be the very salve that person itches for, to be reminded that they are deeply valued and priceless.
A part of community.