LONELINESS AND THE 2020 PANDEMIC CHRISTIAN
I am sure there is someone who will rebuke me for even admitting that christians get lonely. Before you start, let me say that I am quite aware that Jesus is always with me. Somehow though, that awareness has not stopped me from experiencing intervals of loneliness. If you are a christian and have never been lonely, even for a bit, then congratulations. You can stop reading now.
For those of us that are not ashamed to admit that as a christian, there are times when loneliness somehow creeps into our lives, keep reading. I think it hides under our bed and waits until we are exhausted and unable to clearly think to strike!
Here's what I know for sure:
You can be in a long-term relationship (such as marriage) and experience loneliness.
You can be surrounded by friends and family yet still be lonely.
You can work a full-time job and do a lot of overtime, and still, it's there.
You can talk a good game and put on a big fake smile, but the loneliness will still be there when you stop smiling.
You can attend church and bible study regularly, and guess what? Yes! You can still be lonely.
*Be not deceived my friends; loneliness has unfortunately snuffed out a lot of seemingly well-to-do, noteworthy individuals!
Why is loneliness bad for you?
Listen to me when I say this... Loneliness can be very expensive. Loneliness will allow you to settle for less than God’s very best for your life. Loneliness can cause a lapse in sound judgment. If not checked, this lapse in sound judgment can have horrendous consequences. Illicit relationships, alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography, and gambling, are just a few examples of these consequences.
Is loneliness biblical?
Well, it's not God's best will for us, but individuals in the bible experienced this emotion. Here are examples of great men of faith that experienced loneliness:
David- Look on my right hand, and see; For there is no man that knoweth me: Refuse hat failed me; No man careth for my soul. Ps. 142:4
Jesus-...My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Matt 27:46b
The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic hit and somewhat mandated that we socially distance ourselves from one another! Now, if you take an already lonely individual and instruct them to stay home as much as possible and when they do interact with others, to stay 6 feet away that only compounds the underlying issue of loneliness. Weeks have passed, months have expired, and at this point, we may never see life the same way again. But what are we to do with the loneliness?
1. Understand that loneliness is a real feeling, and the fact that you experience this means you are human. Call it what it is and give yourself some slack.
2. Spend some time trying to discover when did your loneliness start. Prepandemic? Intrapedemic??? It is believed that the loneliness was there; the pandemic only brought it to the forefront.
3. Examine your walk with God. How's your devotional time? Have you been praying like you should?
4. Recall your self-care habits. Have you been taking care of yourself, eating correctly, getting enough sleep, drinking adequate water?
5. Refrain from making life-altering decisions in moments of loneliness! You will save yourself from some pretty embarrassing results in the future. Trust me. Just refrain.
6. Understand the loneliness is only for a season, and it will pass. Nothing we experience here on earth is permanent.
7. Find someone with whom you can talk with regarding your feelings. We all need that one trustworthy individual with whom we can be 100% transparent. Be one. Find one.
8. Give everything you are experiencing over to God. Yes, God is God, but He is also one with whom we can be truthful. He already knows how you feel, but it will help you just to admit it and give it to Him.
9. Start journaling. I have found that it sometimes helps to jot down what you are going through. Later, you will look back and realize the progress you have made.
10. Seek professional help by all means if necessary. God has blessed many individuals with the gift of counseling. In some cases, undealt with loneliness can lead to depression, which could be a physiological sign of a chemical imbalance or other issues beyond the scope of this post. I am not a counselor or physician. Loneliness is nothing of which to be ashamed or ignore. Call it what it is. Receive the resources you need to carry on with your life. In Jesus' name!