Loneliness attacks us all at some time or another. Do you submerse yourself in it and let it choke your existence from you? Do you allow it to wash over you and bathe you to immerse fresh and renewed?
I stepped into the shower and was blindsided by a hidden loneliness that mingled with the water that washed over me.
My Dutch grandmother had left Amsterdam for South Africa as a young woman and had made a statement to me some twenty years ago. My husband, children and I were about to leave South Africa for America. She said that I will discover that I have no home. South Africa will no longer be home, nor will the United States ever truly be home either. I would live in a state of never being able to call any place my home.
Tears trickled down my cheeks, maybe it was a flood of them, or perhaps it was just the shower water. Anyhow, I leaned into the moment and loneliness gripped my soul. I felt the emptiness of being far from the girlfriends I loved. We always used to just pick up from where we left off, yet it was different now. SO much happens in between those phone calls or visits, that now we just touch on highlights. Distance has wedged between me the women I love, now spread across the world and this country. I long for those earlier days.
Yes, I have one girlfriend, that’s remained close – we both call often,
send gifts, laugh, cry and share life’s details.
In an hour I’ll be thankful beyond measure for her – right now, the quiet aloneness blurs the gift.
I think of my mother and the loneliness she felt and spoke of to me the last years of her life. I did empathize in those minutes of our long distance conversations, but then, life bustled on. Now I wish I could have been there, planned more together- time, sent more letters and packages in the mail. She could have been my best friend ever, and I hers. I didn’t allow it, just had glimpses of it now and then. Now I’m lonely for her, long for her. Perhaps in the next few days and months, I’ll translate the many children’s stories she wrote and honor and enjoy with gratitude her memory, her gifts and appreciate her. Right now, I just ache. Hurt. Alone.
Quietly, as if a switch is flipped in my head, calm floods my soul. A still, gentle voice, that you can’t hear but yet you do, whispers, “You have a friend that sticks closer than a sister (brother)”. “I will never let you go”. “I am always with you”.
I am thankful.
I am joyful.
I have peace.
You see – I had just spent time in prayer, God’s Word and meditation before stepping into the shower. I believe He opened my heart to see what was hidden there, work through it and then remove it. And – went a step deeper . . .
I have surgery tomorrow and quiet frankly I’m freaked out. I’ve always been healthy, no pills, no Doctors, no surgeries. Now this. Eye surgery. It’s actually a miracle and after months of not seeing in one eye, I’ll see perfectly for the first time ever in my life. But I’m clinging to the fear of it all. The what if? How could this happen to me? I’m scared. I feel alone.
Whew, it’s out.
The fact is, and I now see it – I’ not alone. I’m thankful. Stronger. Calm. At peace.
Five Essentials in loneliness that spoke out loud to me:
- Spend time on your knees, God’s Word and contemplation
- Allow your thoughts to surface, listen, acknowledge, admit, allow the emotion and thoughts – see it through
- Be confident that resolution arrives after processing
- God is with you and heals your heart
- Encourage someone else, we all have lonely moments
DO you feel alone? Have you felt alone?
Please share below if you need to get it out or what you do when loneliness grips you. Your thoughts will encourage someone else.
Remember: You are not alone. Please connect.