Alone With God
Ongoing loneliness is not a part of God’s plan for our lives; he wants us to have meaningful relationships with others. However, there will be times when we do experience such feelings and sometimes it can be crushing.
Families change shape as we go through life - divorce, bereavement, children leaving home. These things can bring lonely times into our lives.
Loneliness can be short or long term and it’s not always linked to circumstance. It can have its roots in the past or simply with our natural personality; some people find it hard to connect and make friends.
Today families and familiar ties are being broken down, we have the false connection of social media, which can be a time-consuming distraction.
It can be so hard to admit loneliness; it can carry the stigma of ‘not being good enough’ and of being less attractive.
We can be critical of ourselves, which leads to further feelings of isolation. When we isolate, our ‘relationship muscle’ atrophies - it becomes weakened, so we lose confidence even more.
Mental health problems can leave us with a poor self-image so we want to hide and avoid social contact.
To develop that ‘relationship muscle’ we need to work on two things:
Firstly, changing our inner beliefs about ourselves by looking at what God says about us.
Secondly, changing the way we behave and trying out new behaviours. A little trick is to try and pretend you are confident, everyone is winging it in some way!
Try to connect with people in little ways to begin with. Perhaps smile at a stranger, make eye contact and speak to someone new if you can.
Accept you may get hurt along the way but don’t hang onto loneliness because it’s safe.
With God’s help you do not have to stay as you are.
Times of being alone can be enriching, especially with God. Connecting with God enables us to focus our attention away from ourselves and onto Him, it also helps us focus on others. We need to find a balance between connection with the world and time to ourselves.
Psalm 27:10 reminds us that ‘Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.’
Psalm 25:16 ‘Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.’
Psalm 68:6 says ‘God sets the lonely in families,’ your church and community group are also your family, for we are brothers and sisters in Christ.