The poet Milton has written, Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named as not good. There are many who would agree with Milton and with God’s assessment that it is not good to be alone.
One person makes this observation: The pain of living alone cannot be really expressed, you really have to experience it yourself to fully feel and understand the sadness that it brings to your heart. A constant pestering awareness that you are all alone takes place in your conscience. Oh, there are times, work, church, occasional relationships that let you forget for a short time, but like an open wound you are reminded of the pain soon enough. I can't think of anything else besides evil that I hate as much as I hate being alone.
Another person offers her perspective on being alone: I The reminders that I am alone are endless. I find myself wishing the phone would ring; but sometimes my loneliness takes up so much of my energy, I don't pick up the phone when it rings. When I do, and when I talk, I put on a good safe mask so no one will know how much I hurt inside. No one really wants to hear or take part in your pain, at least that's the way if feels, so why bother telling anybody.
Panic also plays a role in being alone. You get behind closed doors and all kinds of feelings start to happen. Your mind exaggerates the severity of being alone; as if it needed to be exaggerated. Guilt also plays a part, "Oh, you're feeling sorry for yourself,” so you have to deal with that also.
Being alone doesn't have one simple definition; it has several chapters a day in your life. The loneliest of times, of course, is when you're going to sleep. That’s when you're most aware of being alone.
Still another makes this observation about living alone: Holidays are difficult, very difficult. Most married couples and families don't get involved with single people on holidays. I spent last Christmas Eve, trying to look festive in the large crowd. Worst of all are birthdays. They’ve always been important to me, even though I’ve tried and tried to talk myself out of that. Several years ago I met someone who had the same birthday as mine. She offered in an off-handed way to celebrate together. She said, "If you don't have anything else to do, then you can come to my house for cake.
The truth of the matter is I didn't find anything else do to on my birthday. Driving over to her house that night, I felt miserable. I felt completely alone and forgotten. I pulled off the road twice, so blinded by my tears I couldn't see where I was going. Once I arrived I tried to appear normal, but I felt more alone than I ever had before. I’m haunted by those well intended but deadly words, "if you don't have anything else to do".
As we read these testimonies, our hearts begin to ache for those dealing with the pain of loneliness. I invite you to read just one more perspective; this happens so often.
I was widowed 2 1/2 years ago and was then catapulted into the world of decision making, lawyers, [Revenue Canada], real estate agents, handling emergencies, while suffering the pangs of violent grief. I've become a nocturnal soul, unable to sleep in our marriage bed ever again. Now I have no one to share conversations with. No one to give me a hug, no one to give me an appreciative squeeze, no body to tell me with his eyes, how much I mean to him. My heart still aches when I reach out in the middle of the night and his hand is no longer reaching for mine.
People have these feelings are all around us; they are not weak, overly emotional people; they are people who face the same challenges the rest of us face but they do so alone, and that makes it much more difficult. I write this posting to raise the awareness level and to invite your feedback, input and suggestions as to how we at Valley can be a people and place that offers refuge for those dealing with the pain of loneliness. I would like to offer two suggestions for your consideration.
My first suggestion may sound like a cliché; discover the companionship of Jesus Christ. Before you dismiss it, please understand the companionship of the Lord Jesus is real and powerful and refreshing; it has the potential to touch you at your greatest point of need; at your deepest emotional and spiritual level.
Jesus himself knows the pain of being alone and He has promised, never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
My second suggestion for defusing the pain of loneliness is to develop a meaningful relational network in your life. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
For those who are alone, this might mean that you have to take the initiative, make the call, extend an invitation; and accept an invitation. The church provides wonderful opportunities to fellowship and worship and serve together. I can’t urge you enough to be part of a Small Group and to resist the temptation to withdraw.
Again, much more could be said on this point, but I welcome all of us to look around and consider how we at Valley might be used to lessen the pain of being alone. Look for opportunities to invite others to become part of our caring community! I also welcome your thoughts and ideas to hawe can share in this together.