Do you ever feel invisible to the people in your life? Have you ever prayed or wished for someone to ask you how you were and genuinely listen to your response? Loneliness is a very real feeling and it should not be stuffed up within you neither should it be ignored.
I know firsthand from experience that you do not have to be alone in order for you to be lonely. You can be among a lot of people and still feel deserted and alone. I’ve gone through seasons of my life where I struggled with depression which most times occurred as a result of loneliness. And I want to help those who have in one time or the other found themselves lonely even as at this present moment.
Your ability to pinpoint the cause of your loneliness will help you to work out a solution. Below are some of the causes of loneliness:
1. Change of season:
You may become lonely when you change your geographical location or have a change in priorities that causes a drift between you and your friends. Change is a normal part of life and no two seasons of life are the same. You might have just moved to college where you know absolutely nobody apart from your roommate (if you have one) or maybe just like me you just graduated from the university and the few friends you had before now have moved away from home. If you are in a different and difficult season of life have it in mind that “this too will pass.”
Instead of wishing it away embrace it and seek to learn all the lessons God wants to teach you, consider the limitations that come with the season and embrace the opportunities it brings. The point is, change is a normal part of life and what we make of it matters.
“Your season may determine the flavor of your fruit, but it should not determine the level of your fruitfulness” _ Chrystal Evans Hurst.
Thrive, Sister Thrive
2. Inability to recognize your need for meaningful friendships:
As females, God created us to be relational beings. Life becomes more enjoyable when we have people to do it with. I don’t know if you are familiar with the saying “together is better”. This is so true. No matter what your personality is; either you are an extrovert or an introvert like me, you need meaningful friendships in your life. Do not believe the lie that you are not a people person. It is true that our personality will greatly influence our friendships but it should not stop us from making friends. It is true that some of us can be perceived by people as strong and independent (for whatsoever reasons), but this also does not mean that we are self-sufficient. We all need people in our lives.
If you noticed in this subhead I said “meaningful friendships”. I said that because often times people make random friends and without commitment and investment to such friendships you discover that they are not intimate with such friends. Check your life, how many random friends do you have? If you want your friendships to grow be committed to nurturing it. Sow what you want to see.
I also want you to take note of the fact that friendship is seasonal and not all friendship will last for a lifetime. Some friends we are called to fight for and some we are called to release. (Some friendships require that we fight for them to remain and others require that we let go after a period of time). Oh, we love them still and though all change feels like loss, it is good to bless people on their way, to hold them loosely, and to let them go.
3. Inability to be vulnerable:
You may be lonely not because you do not have friends but because you do not trust them enough to let your guards down and let them be the kind of friends God wants them to be to you. If you do not allow your friends into the deep places of your heart so they can minister to you there, you will still suffer from loneliness. If you cannot trust your friends you need to ask yourself “why?”.
Is the issue with them or is it with you? Learn to ask for help when you need it. Pour out your heart when you need someone to talk to but make sure the person has proven herself trustworthy over a period of time. Do not be afraid of getting hurt but let God’s wisdom guide you to open up to the right person. We are to be humble and loving towards all people, but we need to develop discernment in relationships. Scripture says that “Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men. “(John 2:24). Seek to understand the direction of the heart of the person to whom you consider entrusting your heart to. Be aware of warning signs (like gossip, critical attitude etc) to avoid long-term hurt.
4. Inability to allow God fill you:
We all have a vacuum in our souls that only God can fill. No well meaning friend can satisfy the hunger and longing of your soul. A lot of times we come into friendships with the expectation that friends will meet our emotional needs but because they also need God to fill them that does not happen. This expectation can put a strain on your friendships. When was the last time you turned to God to fill you? The next time you find yourself lonely, before you turn to a friend to fill you, turn to God first. Psalm 107:9 says “For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness (NKJV).” Psalm 90:14 also says that “Fill us each morning with your constant love, so that we may sing and be glad all our life (GNT).”
The next time I will be writing to you I will write about how you can handle loneliness. I will love to end this post by praying for you.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you because you know all our struggles and you are willing to help us. Thank you because even in our loneliness you will cause us to experience your love. Please wipe away every tear and fill our hearts with your joy. Please bring us out of the pit of despair and cloth us with the garment of Praise. Help us Lord to embrace this season of our lives and thrive in it. Keep us safe in your embrace, in Jesus name. Amen.”
I love you but not as much as Christ does!