There are few things that make a single person feel more lonely than being ill. Now for some, this isn’t a big deal. I mean those of you who turn into the Grinch when sick. You’d prefer to be alone. Then there’s people like me, who enjoy being cared for. A day off of work just isn’t that fun when you can’t get out and DO anything and be around anyone. The silence in this house is deafening. A sweet friend came and took care of me and my kiddos last night so we could all have a relaxing evening because with a double ear infection and raging allergies, I was down for the count.
While I have rested, read, taken my meds and so forth, I have also been on social media quite a bit. Is it just me or does Facebook and Twitter make you feel MORE lonely when you’re really alone? No amount of “Likes” or retweets can really make a person feel loved. A person needs real hugs, real help, real likes, a real phone call to feel loved.
It just got me thinking that I want to be more intentional, to be on my dumb phone less, to be present more. Social media is a weird addiction and substitution for real intimacy with the people right in front of us. Let us not become blind to this or so complacent of how attached we become to it. It’s great for networking, sharing information, and yes reconnecting and encouraging. It’s a perfect way to give a laugh, a short message or to (ahem) advertise a blog. But as a means to sustain relationships? No. Never. It cannot work.
I know I wrote recently that there’s really not such a thing as a truly “single” parents, but for those of us who are romantically unattached, it sure can get lonely. When loneliness comes, let me not fly to my Twitter account or rush to check how many people liked my status update. Oh Lord, instead let me fly to your word, let me drink deep from the well that never runs dry. Let me invite a friend to have a home cooked dinner, to play Monopoly with my son or read a book to my daughters. Let me phone a sister to say hello or find a place to stop and just pray.
When I am lonely, let me remember that my savior was truly alone for my sake. Forsaken to save me. And someday, I’ll never be lonely again. Loneliness is an earthly problem, not a heavenly one. For now, I try not to waste these days or this season of doing life as a solo rather than a duo. I remind myself that ten years ago, I could never have imagined my life as it now. And ten years from now I will say the same thing for completely different reasons.
Hey, lonely friends, He loves you. I know, that if you’re like me, you have so MUCH love to give. It seems silly that you’re in this place where that seems stifled. Open up those eyes and look around, there’s a world of hurt out there just waiting for you to give yourself away. I am learning just like many of you are to treasure things that LAST rather than pining away for temporary treasures on earth that will inevitably pass away. Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I am preaching the gospel to myself. Laying my soul bare here hoping that we can all hear what He’s saying, that this place we’re in is not permanent. The lonely days do end, and when they do, what will have to say about what we did with them? Will we have wasted our precious time wringing our hands or glued to our back-lit screens just hoping for a little recognition, or will we open up those hearts of ours, learn to trust the Lord that He really is good and let Him teach us how to love?
Because the truth is that as much as I want a partner to do this messy life with, I don’t want it unless it’s going to be a blessing to my family and ultimately to the world. I already have a best friend and a host of others in my community who spur me on to love and good works. Half-hearted husband applicants need not apply. This girls wants to do it right for round two if given the opportunity. And yeah, I have to accept the reality that it may not happen, and if it does, it definitely will not happen on my timetable. “Okay,” I sigh. I said this very thing to more than two friends recently because it burns in my chest: healthy means allowing healing to really happen in FULL, to find fulfillment in Christ. Unhealthy is codependency, waiting on some other poor soul to stumble upon us and try to fill in the holes that they aren’t capable of filling. YOU GUYS, I WANT HEALTHY. DON’T YOU?
I know this post is long and messy. I should not be allowed to be alone this long with my thoughts, but I wanted to share where I am at on my journey. If you relate to this, if this encourages you, offends you….whatever. Let me know. Love to you all, and as always, thank you for reading!