Saturday, February 27, 2010


I can be in the middle of a noisy, busy household and feel completely, utterly lonely. Wave after wave will wash over me as I listen to others make plans that do not include me. I miss my family. I miss the companionship of marriage -- the obligation to cooperate.

For a whole year, I dealt with loneliness while living alone. It was easy. I expected it. Welcomed it even. I wanted to be alone. I felt that being alone was better than being with the wrong person. This is not to say that I turned into a hermit. Far from it. However, I called the shots. I decided when I wanted or did not want to be with other people. During those times, when I would feel the wave, it was easy to turn on music, curl up into a ball and cry out to God for deliverance. This is different. While living alone, I learned how to be alone, and NOT be lonely. I still don't know how to be in a crowd and not be lonely.

The simple act of being invited to share breakfast with my roommate and her children brought the issue forcefully to the front of my mind today. While eating, I realized that their family history, private jokes, shared secrets knit them together in a unity that I have yet to find. That's when the wave hit. No longer am I satisfied with the plans I have for the day: study. I want to go bowling, go to the movies, let loose and have fun with family. Not just any family: MY family, MY husband, MY kids.

Intellectually this is reasoned out fairly quickly:
  1. I have an obligation to study, because I have a test next week.
  2. I have lots of friends to call on if I wanted someone to hang out with me.
  3. I am a woman of faith, and I believe that God's timing is best. I believe He is using this time to prepare my heart - and the heart of the one He is sending to me - for each other. I will have these things when He is ready for me to have them.
  4. I can be surrounded by husband, children and extended family and still feel lonely.
Lots of people will tell you that this is all the "pain" of being single. I don't think being single is painful at all. It is really one of the happiest times of my life. I am learning to lean on God for everything, to know His heart towards me and others, and to love unconditionally. Not with expectation or desperation, but with joy and abandonment.

The only way to combat loneliness is with truth. The truth is, those moments will come, and then they will pass. It's up to me, and where I choose to place my focus, as to how long they will last. Already, as the family prepares to go out, I am feeling less and less lonely, and more and more happy at the thought of a peaceful, quiet study afternoon.


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