I don’t know about you, but it seems that there is a super abundance of advertising for medications on TV these days. And while they are miracle aids for a myriad of ailments, most of the ads seem to be taken up with the dire possible side effects. I’m sort of waiting for one which says:
Take this for XYZ, but be aware that your legs might fall off in the process.
Now, I admit there have been times in my life when it felt as though marriage would bring total and complete happiness which would erase loneliness. It was magnified each time I attended weddings of friends and family, and then attended baby showers for the same – and then weddings and showers for their children. Even knowing in my head that marriage isn’t always warm and fuzzy, it didn’t help to be told that, when every fiber of my heart screamed out for that experience.
What does help is for someone to simply say, “I hear you! It is hard!”
That gives encouragement to walk through that tunnel into the light of “OK God. Now what are You and I going to do together?”
As you might expect from me when thinking about such weighty things, I went to Noah Webster’s great book – called the dictionary. 🙂
Of the word “lonely,” Webster says:
- * Sequestered apart from company or neighbors; in want of company.
- * Having a feeling of depression or sadness resulting from the consciousness of being alone.
Of a similar, but slightly different word, ‘alone,” he says:
- * Quite by one’s self; apart from others; without a sharer.
- * Unique, rare, matchless.
Now, the first definitions are quite similar in that they stress the apartness both represent. Re. loneliness, the thing which strikes me is that loneliness and depression can walk hand-in-hand into deep dark places which may seem to have no door out. And, for the single person, loneliness may take a variety of shapes and sizes according to the circumstance. What can seem like adventurous opportunities for some can be intense trials for others.
The boundaries of loneliness can be outweighed by the freedom of aloneness.
I have to admit, I’ve had a foot in both camps at times.
Buying a house on my own was a very daunting experience, and walking through “what have I done?” without another having the same vested interest, moved into “Wow, I can pound nails and paint wherever I want.”
Watching my brothers and their families at a family reunion and realizing that not one drop of my DNA goes any further than me was overwhelming at the time. Being blessed by nieces and nephews and their children (and even a couple of great-great nieces) has brought immense joy to my life.
Continuing to have a deep desire for companionship in marriage, while experiencing an equally deep and true contentment in where I am in life because God has brought me to this place in His plan and timing.
Living with paradoxical loss of what I’ve never had, while reveling in the deepening relationship with God made more precious by opportunities for friendships and travel adventures – and even this blog!
Singleness often provides a sort of human petri dish for loneliness, doesn’t it? But, it can also be a place of healing for unmarrieds and those around them. Once again, Scripture has some words helping to bring life to those who are alone and lonely. True to the 2nd definition above under “alone,” we have an infinitely unique, rare, and matchless God who loves us for those same qualities because He made us that way! Psalm 139 is full of truth affirming that.
Psalm 139:13-14 – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.♥
II Thessalonians 2:16-17 – May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
I Timothy 6:15-16 – . . . God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
Thank you for joining me on this amazing journey!
♥ New International Version – NIV