I’ve never lived alone. From my mother’s house to the land of marriage, I always had roommates- which worked for me. I don’t like being alone. Now my husband Kelly is a man that can enjoy his solitude.
The early months of our wedded bliss, Kelly would be sitting in the office paying bills and such and I would go in and sit. Just sit. No talking, no reading just sitting. “Do you need something?”, he’d ask. I’d just grin and say ”No”. After much repetition, I finally understood: I had no idea how to be alone. I’ve gotten better, but I would still pick a room with a bunch of noisy, smelly teenagers than a room by myself any day. Strange, I know.
But loneliness is about more than being alone. Loneliness can find you standing in line at the grocery store, sitting in a meeting with a dozen people or spending a quiet evening with a love one. Loneliness is the awareness of a hole in your life that hasn’t been filled. Today there’s less quiet in which to hear the loneliness. MP3’s, CD’s, DVD’s and cell phones eliminate silence so this hole has a way of showing up in our daily routine. Loneliness comes in the mundane moments with the thoughts “Is this it? Isn’t there something more?”
Here’s the thing. The hole in your life is God. God created a place in each of us that only He can fill. Isn’t that tricky? He loves us so much He wants us to want Him. So He designs us to only feel fulfilled when we are seeking Him. To not seek God increases our loneliness and brings questions for God like “What are you doing?” “Why did you take them?” “Where are you?” Or maybe you realize you’re not as close to God as you use to be or as close as the next guy. The loneliness that comes from seeing this hole in your life is called Spiritual Loneliness.
Many Christians think that since they know Jesus their Spiritual Loneliness should go away but I don’t think so. Actually, I think it’s intensified. Once you begin to experience God filling your hole, you want more of Him. So you see, this loneliness in your life- the feeling that something is missing- is a good thing. It’s a shout out from God that He wants you to keep seeking Him. We are designed to seek God just as we are designed to breathe in and out. Yet when things get in the way of your breathing, you do something about it. When life gets in the way of you seeking God, you can get distracted until one day, in the midst of the noise, you hear your loneliness. Listen to your loneliness. That’s God. That’s God calling you to let Him fill your hole a little bit more. Just a little bit more.
Karen Tripp MS Speaker, Author, Counselor