I have always struggled with loneliness. I am an only child, so growing up I didn’t have brothers and sisters to play with. Mom was a single-parent who worked a lot to provide, sometimes at two jobs, so she was gone a lot. I had cousins who lived nearby at times and some living in other states but none I saw on a daily basis.
I got REALLY good at entertaining myself. I loved reading, writing and dancing. Kids Incorporated when Fergie and Jennifer Love-Hewitt were on there was my FAVORITE show! I spent hours trying to duplicate all the dance moves, lol. I just became really independent and was OK doing life alone because it was what I was used to.
But at times I would get really lonely, though as a kid I didn’t fully know what that meant. I remember feeling sad about spending so much time alone but being a kid I couldn’t communicate this.
I also spent a lot of time reading the bible. I had a great children’s bible at that time that had tons of great pictures and comforting helpful articles throughout the text. I wish I knew where that bible was today. It helped me through a lot of dark times, sad feelings and loneliness.
As I got older and busier with school, friends, extra-curricular activities and boys my loneliness faded.
However, now as an adult I find myself still experiencing times of loneliness. I used to think that “if only I was married I would never have a problem with loneliness again.” But after talking with married couples, reading lots of books about relationships and maturing I see that even married people get lonely too and sometimes they are the loneliest.
Living in LA is a continuously interesting experience. People here are just…..different. It took me a LONG time to find a good group of friends here. A lot of people who move here are very self-absorbed, into themselves and their dreams or are in such a state of brokenness from where they came from they are unable to be a good friend. So moving here for me was kind of like going back in time to the lonely days of my childhood. It was an unpleasant nostalgic feeling.
Jack Zavada, a great Christian blogger I follow, says that loneliness is a warning sign that you have a relationship problem, but not necessarily with another person; with God. He says that a close intimate relationship with God can help alienate feelings of loneliness. While I see his point and agree to a certain extent I don’t think that loneliness needs to be over spiritualized. People are meant to have close, intimate and loving relationships with others and sometimes that’s just not happening in our world.
So here are some things I’ve learned about loneliness:
It’s a human problem, not a singles problem. Everybody experiences it at some time or another and no one is immune to it. This side of heaven I believe we’ll all experience certain times of loneliness.
You can’t wait on God or anyone else to fix your loneliness problem. You have to step out there in faith to make the changes you see fit. Continue to meet new people, volunteer, reconcile broken relationships, serve and concentrate on someone else’s problems that are bigger than your own.
God promises that we are never alone. Now I must admit this is one that’s hard for me to believe sometime because I often FEEL alone. But I’m learning that faith in God requires living beyond your feelings which is something I’m just now coming to terms with. Maybe when I do one day I’ll write a future blog about it!
So I do still have times of loneliness, but my situation is not as hopeless as it was when I was as a little girl. As an adult I have the power to create the life that I want, which is what I have done here in LA. I love my life here, it’s not perfect and I deal with things beyond loneliness but I love it because it was hand crafted by me.
How do you handle your times or seasons of loneliness?