Loneliness is a complex emotional response that many human beings face at some point in their lives. From the Garden of Eden, God saw the need for us to have relationships and contact with other human beings, and this is a desire that He personally placed in our hearts.
As you journey through your season of singleness, it is absolutely natural to experience moments of loneliness here and there. However, you must remember that you are never truly alone. God is always with you, even during the hardest times (Psalm 23:4).
If you have struggled or are struggling with feelings of loneliness, rest assured that you are in great company. Some of God’s favorite people have traveled the same road that you are on: Job, David, Hannah, the apostle Paul, and Jesus. Let’s see if you can relate to some of them.
Job felt absolutely lonely as he dealt with the loss of his children and his possessions. Family and friends all abandoned him in his greatest time of need, except for three friends who came to mourn with him (at first) only to blame him for his current situation. Even Job’s wife practically deserted him. Three friends surrounded him but in reality, he could not be lonelier. No one understood his pain and suffering (Job 19:13-14).
King David, a man of absolute faith, also went through times of loneliness. In Psalm 142:4-6, David cries out to God in distress. As he looked around him, no one was standing up for him. He had no one to lean on. Still, David was able to recognize something important and I don’t want you to miss it. He recognized that God was his shelter, which means his place of refuge, a safe place, and the one who covers him and protects him. In spite of his loneliness, David knew whom to turn to, and so should you. God is an ever-present help.
Finally, Hannah, mother of the future prophet Samuel, was also a woman suffering from loneliness. She was constantly surrounded by people, including her husband Elkanah, his second wife Peninnah, and Peninnah’s children. In spite of all she had and the many ones around her, she felt this void because she longed for the gift of motherhood. Her loneliness came from the fact that no one could understand her, her desire, her source of pain, or her condition of childlessness, not even her husband. She was alone in her pain.
So if you find yourself in a similar situation, you are not alone. Many others, great people of faith even, have been where you are.
Your loneliness is further proof that you need to connect with God. Human beings are the only ones created without total ignorance of God. The good news is, you don’t have to remain in this place. You can overcome your feelings of loneliness. Here are a few practical steps that you can take:
- First, you must admit that you suffer from loneliness. Not acknowledging where you are emotionally will only hinder you.
- Then, try to identify the possible causes of your loneliness. Perhaps you suffered the loss of a loved one recently and have isolated yourself. Perhaps, you desire a companion in your life so much that the presence of other people does not even seem to make a difference to you anymore. Perhaps you suffered a trauma, etc.
- Acknowledge what you cannot change. Unfortunately, there are things in life that we cannot change. For instance, we cannot change how people react to what we say or the decision of someone we loved to end a relationship. These variables are out of our control.
- Acknowledge what you can change.
- Meditate on God’s Word and fix your mind on things that are honorable and good.
- Focus on building your self-esteem.
- Create a daily and weekly schedule with all your activities. The less idle time you have, the better so you don’t allow your mind to wander or focus on negative things.
- Spend time in prayer and claim the abundant life God has promised you.
- Remove yourself from isolation by spending time with others. The only way to connect with people is to simply do it. It may not feel any different at first but be patient. Also, you can make new friends. Remember that two are always better than one because if you fall, someone else will be there to pull you through (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
Get involved in your church and/or your local community. Engaging in activities and serving others will help you break out of isolation.
- And finally, share what you are going through with a trusted and godly friend. You will be amazed at how a little support can help you. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another “(Proverbs 27:17).
These are just some steps that can help you come out of the closet of loneliness and isolation. However, if your loneliness is the result of a trauma, seek help and find a group of people who can relate to what you’re going through because they’ve gone through it as well. God never meant for you to feel lonely. Nevertheless, like any other emotion, it can be overcome. Remember that God has given you a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. And whatever you go through, you are never alone. God is with you as He has promised in his word:
“I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you. For I am the Lord your God” ~ Isaiah 43:2-3a CSB~
Singleness does not have to be a time of loneliness. So take charge of your emotions, overcome the spirit of loneliness by releasing it to God, and start living the abundant life He has for you.