One of the most important things I have learned in my Christian life is how to be content with loneliness.
1) Even in the best relationships, there is still a hunger in the soul only Christ can fill.
2) We can be surrounded by people that genuinely love and care for us and still be lonely.
3) Sometimes, we truly are alone.
For a couple of months now, I have been telling the Lord that I really feel like I need another human to help me with some things. I have felt alone and lonely and have yearned for God to bring some relief by way of other people.
Sometimes I say, “Lord, I really need a business mentor.”
Some days I say, “Oh Lord, please put someone in my life who can help me finally overcome my food issues.”
Some days I say, “Lord, I would love a personal trainer as a drill sergeant to motivate me to exercise.”
Lastly, some days I say, “Oh Lord, I would love to have a best friend.”
But, despite my pleading, the Lord keeps saying to me,
“For now dear one, I am your answer and I am enough.”
Last week in church, my pastor was speaking on how the Lord saw the needs of Adam and graciously created Eve for him.
So again, the Lord and I met at the table of my heart.
I said, “Lord, I see in Your word that it is within Your will to use people to minister and meet the needs of others.
It is not against Your word to desire help, friendship, or mentorship from another person, in addition to what Jesus Himself gives me.”
“Yes, true.” the Lord said.
Then, as I felt Him wrap me in His tenderness, He said to me,
“For now, I am not going to answer your request.
For now, I still want you to be completely leaning on only me.”
Peace and gratitude came over me as I acknowledged how much He loves me.
The God of the universe wants to be our everything.
We are unworthy of such devotion and care, but yet He gives it so freely.
Then God revealed a second reason He is not answering my request of getting help from others.
My struggle with food is now near 40 years in the making.
What I really am asking God is to send me a drill sergeant who will make me conform and finally get victory in my battle with food.
The pastor on Sunday spoke on self-government.
My ears perked up and the Lord was again at the table of my heart.
The Lord began telling me that He wants me to develop the discipline to overcome these life-stealing
obstacles, not be forced externally by a drill sergeant.
Self-governing has to come from the inside. Pastor Dan Outler
That was a light bulb moment for sure!
God also reminded me of something I had asked many times.
I have asked the Lord to give me victories in a way that is repeatable so that any woman can use
the same pattern to get victory.
Hiring a drill sergeant (personal trainer 24/7) and finding the perfect mentors is not going to be available to every woman.
God is available to every woman! Woo hoo!
So, in my quest from relief from loneliness, God has said no to my requests for three reasons.
1) He wants me to continue leaning on Him as my everything.
2) He knows that if I learn to self-govern, I will have grown so much more than if I was forced externally to conform to a drill sergeant.
3) His way of meeting my needs will allow me to teach other women a repeatable process that will allow them also to get victory.
As you can see, I have now entered a time of waiting.
I will continue being lonely in these areas.
The need for business mentorship, the struggle with food issues and exercise,
and the desire for a close, best friend rises up on a daily basis.
However, a beautiful
opportunity has now unfolded.
God is inviting me to dive even deeper into my relationship with Him.
I can only imagine that God is so excited to show me how He alone can meet my needs.
I cannot wait for Him to show me how to conquer food battles in a way that I can teach other women.
I know that with every business obstacle, He will provide what I need.
And as far as a friend, I know God will satisfy the need in my soul in a way that only He can fill.
This post is about being content with loneliness.
Allow me to provoke some deep thinking with some questions.
What are you yearning for and can another human even fill it?
What expectations are you putting on your relationships?
Are you expecting relationships to erase your loneliness?
What would it take to erase your loneliness?
Years ago I was at a wedding and I loved the vows of the bride and groom so much that I asked if I could have a copy.
Graciously, they shared them with me.
Here is the first thing they promised each other.
“I promise to look to God
for my contentment and satisfaction, removing your burden to offer me
the satisfaction that I can only find in Him.”
Isn’t that so incredibly wise of this young couple to have this principle as the foundation of their marriage?
It is this principle that helps us be content with loneliness.
We can not be to others what only Christ can be. We should not expect others to fill what only Christ can fill.
For me personally, my loneliest battle is the one I experience having Bipolar.
I share this private struggle to further show the sufficiency of our God to be our everything,
even in the most difficult circumstances.
The following are excerpts from an article I wrote concerning mental illness.
I must offer one last key to victory. You must learn to be content being lonely with this battle.
You must learn to be so dependent on God that He becomes enough. Most of this battle happens in the mind and the attack can be relentless.
If you reach out to people every time these symptoms overwhelm you, no one will want to be around you.
You must learn to let God be your sole comfort for the majority of your battle.
God is my comfort. In my loneliness, God is enough for me. I cling to Psalm 139. God knows me. He understands my mind and how it thinks. He understands my confusion and weakness. He sustains me through my weakness with His strength. He is my hope.
He is my everything.
If I hadn’t learned to be content with my loneliness concerning Bipolar, I would be miserable.
I believe I also would have damaged my testimony and my relationships by trying to get others to fill
what only Christ could.
And truly folks, no one can meet the intricate needs of our soul as God does.
Are you looking for security, but no one can offer it?
Are you looking for a true friend, but God hasn’t brought one?
Are you looking for the relationship that is the missing piece but no one seems to fit?
Do you sense that no one around you actually knows how to meet your needs?
Are you beginning to realize that no one is able to keep you from loneliness?
Are you recognizing that even while being surrounded by people who love you,
there is still an emptiness needing to be filled?
This is when you let Jesus be your everything.
No one will understand you as He does.
No one else knows how to help you as He does.
You can trust that He is with you, that He is your God.
You can trust that He will strengthen you, He will help you,
and He will uphold you.
Clinging to God will always bring relief.
Lastly, not being content with loneliness leads down a dangerous road.
Bitterness, accusing God, and pity parties come to mind.
Being lonely isn’t bad, but not being content with God’s provision is.
Here are some great questions.
Can God trust you to be lonely?
Will you still serve Him fully if you are lonely?
Can God count on your faithfulness even if you are lonely?
Can God count on your devotion to Him with all your heart, mind, and soul, even if you are lonely?
Do some soul searching.
There are times when we really may be alone.
There may be no other living soul on earth that cares if we exist.
But the relationship that matters most
is actually the one that is the most available to us!
One of the keys to the most enriching walk with God is to be content with whatever
He allows or withholds and to love Him and trust Him regardless of heartache, loneliness, or loss.
Some last insights concerning the best friend request I made of God.
God began asking me how a best friend would make me feel better.
What was I wanting?
If I could create the perfect best friend, would I be satisfied?
Would I feel understood?
Would I feel safe and secure?
My answer was no.
No matter how perfect this best friend was, I think I would still feel empty.
I am surrounded by good, lovely, cherished friends, but in all their care and attention,
the peace and comfort they offer do not satisfy.
And it wasn’t meant to.
Oh, what a Friend we have in Jesus!
He is the only one able to be our everything.
Please enjoy this song I wrote called “Enough.”
It is, of course, based on this truth that God really is enough.