Loneliness. It seems like everywhere I turn, people are more lonely. People are more socially connected than ever, but they aren’t truly finding deep, lasting, fulfilling friendship, and it’s hurting mental health. This sad phenomenon makes me think of what God said after He created Adam in Genesis 2:18, ‘Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”’
It also takes me back to the night of February 14th, 2019 of this year. It was one of the worst nights and best nights of my life.
I was in bed.
I was profoundly lonely.
I was crying. Despairing. Feeling alone.
I had just been at a church Valentine’s Dinner helping people set up, but I left early because I was struggling inside. I didn’t and did want to talk to someone about it, but instead of talking about it, I came back to where I was house sitting. And I cried so much that night. I wished I didn’t exist. I wished that God would take me soon. I was in a dark place.
Psalm 40 came to my mind after this night because it’s truly what happened. Psalm 40:1-3, ‘
I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.’
It was a horrible mental pit of loneliness, and I pray that I might never go back.
That’s why this podcast today is about all the tools that God has given me to overcome loneliness. The beginning of the year included so much of this theme in my life. I drew back from people because I thought they would despise me for struggling. I believed lies that nobody wanted to hear my struggles, nobody wanted to bear my burden.
And boy was. I. so. wrong.
So now without further delay we get into the podcast. In this podcast I talk about:
– Why are we so lonely?
– Why social media does not substitute for real relationships
– What are the best ways to remind yourself that you are not the ‘best company’ for yourself
– The reasons we need friends (good Christian friends)
– Being discerning about friendship but not judgmental
– Ways to combat loneliness
– We were created to be with other people
– Learning you are wrong about people ‘not wanting’ to hear your struggles
– Friendship is not about you
– Service being one of the best ways to deal with being lonely or sad
– The friend that sticks CLOSER than a brother
– Why idolizing friendships won’t create lasting fulfilling friendship
– what the best kinds of friendships are made of
I remember earlier this year when I was having mixed feelings about my sister getting married. I felt like I might ‘lose her friendship’, but guess what? Even though, by God’s grace, our friendship was in such a good place before she got married, it’s only gotten sweeter. When we’re together, we laugh, sometimes cry, sometimes pray for each other, and the honesty flows.
My sister is a good friend, and she’s taught me so much about being a good friend.
She’s taught me that friendship often means:
sitting with someone and just hugging them
watching the funniest YouTube Videos
challenging someone to get off their phone and be present with their family and friends
pressing someone to believe God’s promises and to be optimistic no matter what your feelings say
Since that day on February 14th, I praise the LORD to say I’m not lonely anymore. Every day is full of friendship, full of reaching out to friends, full of being with those whom I love, but ultimately, full of knowing that the best FRIEND in the World is my Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve taken so much comfort and marvel in this verse from John 15.
My encouragement to you is:
Don’t let yourself stay lonely. It is GOOD to be alone with the Lord, but do NOT isolate yourself. Spend that special time with the Lord and then go out and be with the people He created you to be with everyday.