Loneliness touches every person’s life at some point. It is the underlying anxiety of having no one close, an empty feeling when there is no one with whom we can share feelings, thoughts , trials and the joys of life .
Loneliness can penetrate our heart at any age. It is especially acute when we have lost a loved one and are alone, maybe for the first time . This transitional loneliness can occur not only when we lose a loved one, but also when we move, go off to college, or go through a time of social isolation such as COVID lockdown.
Loneliness often accompanies the lack of interaction with a personal network of friends, family members or co-workers. This void creates an emptiness and can have far-reaching physical and mental effects such as depression, an increase in blood pressure and impaired sleep, just to name a few.
For anyone going through challenging seasons of life, feeling as if no one cares makes loneliness all the more painful and difficult to overcome. When we feel as if God has abandoned us, the anguish is indescribable. Even heroes of the faith like Jeremiah, Joseph, David, and the apostle Paul felt lonely at times. God provides guidance to navigate our way throughout scripture, We can follow David’s’ example for confronting loneliness in Psalm 142. He was alone, abandoned, in a cave. The Psalm describes his cycle of discouragement and loneliness.
“I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Through David’s words, God is giving us the way to overcome loneliness.
- Express what you feel to God. He is your Creator and Redeemer. He is willing for you to turn to Him and cry out the despair that is in you soul.
- Visualize your trouble, describe it, and put God in the picture. He is with you and already knows and understands. This instills courage. You are not alone.
- Acknowledge what we have in Him. “I cry to you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’” Psalms
- Realize only God can rescue. He has a plan laid out for us. Caste aside your pride and self sufficiency. Humble yourself and be willing to put aside all the ways you want to handle your loneliness ( through eating, drinking, drugs, sex, shopping, over working) . Trust God to see you through this loneliness.
You will experience loneliness, just as millions of people do. God reminds us to encourage others. Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Therefore, befriend someone that is lonely – the senior next door who never has visitors, the homeless person who feels invisible, the mother overwhelmed with the responsibility of a new baby, the new neighbor or fellow student seating near you. By making a simple human connection, we can eliminate our loneliness and bless another.
Here is a prayer excerpt from Harvest House Publishers that you may find helpful in the midst of your loneliness.
PRAYER TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOR:
Help me to view myself the way You view me. Help me to gain a greater value for who I am and my connection to You. When I do, I will put less pressure on others to meet the needs You and I are designed to meet in me. I also ask for increased intimacy and relational authenticity with friends and family. May I know what it is like to be a friend, and to have one. To give love, and to receive it—unconditionally. To care, and to be cared for. To share, and to listen. Lord, You have built us for community, but we have disregarded that community in so many ways. Guide me into relationships that will help form authentic community around me, where I can connect genuinely. In Christ’s name. Amen.
The counselors at Royal Palm Christian Counseling, are here to help you navigate life’s changes. Schedule time for a session in person. We also offer video and tele-counseling for adults, teens, children, couples and small groups.
Colleen Shue M. Ed In Counseling,
Certified in Biblical Counseling, Peacemaking, and Brain Health Coaching