Loneliness is a very real thing, and it’s not because there are no people around; it’s because they have fallen short of our expectations. We desperately want people to meet our expectations, and pull us out of a mental and emotional rut.
It was one of those days for me. I felt lonely and hurt, and I started to compare myself. I wrote down what I felt (side note: as we’re honest with God, we give Him the power to mend our hearts back in line with His), and with each word I wrote down, I noticed each word was the complete opposite of God’s character. There was a verse that came to mind with each word I wrote down, and it blinded my selfish feelings with the light of God’s Word and love. God’s Word tends to do this. It sorts out the thoughts that need to leave, and points me back to Him (Hebrews 4:12).
I’m sure you have felt lonely just like I have. I’m sure you have felt the pain of disconnection, and maybe even started to feel jealous because of it. I wish I could fix that for you regardless of how long you’ve felt this way. Your feelings are real, and that it is okay to feel these ugly feelings. It’s not okay to stay there, and God made a way out for us. Don’t stay here, and don’t cover it up. We are often wired to turn off our emotion because it is better to look perfect and put together.
We humans are fickle. And I am fragile when I am lonely. But God’s love is not fragile. It is strong without fragments or cracks. But He created the human heart, so He has the ability to mend and make it whole. He is the one who seals the cracks and fills the empty spaces. But we have to open up and let Him.
When we really describe our expectations of people, some are realistic and some are definitely not. I am guilty of both, and I don’t think I’m alone. Sometimes in the midst of my expectations, I’ve noticed I’ve described traits of Jesus that can’t be met by humans: always understanding, always loving, always inclusive, always present. I noticed something else: people are changing, wavering, and unpredictable. But with God, we have “always.” His love is unconditional. It doesn’t have limits, and it is always constant. It never runs dry, and it is readily available for us to experience in the presence of God. Just ask for it.
Here are some real feelings, and the truth that mends them:
Jealous: Psalm 139:14; Philippians 4:8; Luke 6:45
Rejected: Psalm 34:17-19
Lonely: Isaiah 43:2; Psalm 23:4
Helpless: Psalm 73:26; Hebrews 4:16; Psalm 121:1-8
Grasping for love: 1 Corinthians 13; Ephesians 3:17-19
Forgotten: Psalm 139:13-16
Wanting to be wanted: John 4:7-26
Misunderstood: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Weak: 2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 73:26; Isaiah 40:28-31
Sad: Nehemiah 8:10
Empty: Matthew 11:28; Matthew 14:13-21; John 6:35
Hurt: John 16:33
Restless: 2 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:7
Take your loneliness, and get alone with Him. Let Him fill your emptiness. Allow Him to love you, and allow that love to transform you. Stand on these promises because they never fail. One of the most practical ways to change any of the feelings listed above is with gratitude. Thank God for what He’s doing in your life right now, and thank Him for understanding you. Thank Him for making a way through Jesus that allows us to have access God’s presence that fills us and makes us whole.
My words about loneliness will not cure the heartache you might be feeling, but I do hope you run to God with your very real, honest, and raw feelings, because He cares, even though that’s not what your eyes are seeing at the moment. Trust in His provision, and cling to His words. And you can be whole.