Friday, September 5, 2008

When you're lonely...

A friend of mine has recently left after popping in to visit.
And my heart feels heavy.
I have no logical reason to feel this way…’s just that I get a sense of the deep loneliness that she is feeling. It seems unbelievable to me really. Others would perceive her to be totally together and not in the least bit “lonely”.
Yet she is.
She told me that she feels like she has no friends.
And it got me thinking…I often feel like that. My daughters, aged 8 and 9, often feel like that. Nearly every young Mum I have spoken to, has at some point felt like that.

I feel like grabbing these special girls and yelling:
“Do you know how precious you are?!”
Why is it that all the females I have come in contact with feel so alone?
So cut off from everyone else?

I heard Pastor Lloyd say one day…
“When you’re feeling down, go and make your neighbour a batch of pikelets”

Here are some of the things that I do when I feel lonely or I’m feeling cut off from others…
  • I pick up the phone (squash down all those reasons why I shouldn’t ring…ie. Cos they’re busy, cos they’ll be eating dinner, cos they won’t be able to talk) and I ring my mate….even if it’s just to leave a message on her answering machine. At least she’ll get back to me when she can.
  • I invite my neighbour over for a cuppa
  • I write a little note to someone who I care about
  • I sms/email/blog/skype….
  • I hop on Facebook and write on everyone’s wall
  • I bake bickies with the kids and talk with them about who we’re going to give a batch to
  • I Invite someone over for a meal or arrange to meet up in the Park
  • And when I feel really really down and out, cut off and isolated…I pray!
I pray that God will send me a friend. That God would help me to be a good friend to those close to me. That God would take away the emptiness and loneliness that lies heavy on my heart like a cold flinty stone. That he would fill me up to overflowing with joy. That he would blow the cobwebs out of my head. That he would be with me, encourage me and guide me.

Do you remember that song “what a friend we have in Jesus….”
It’s so true.
There have been times I’ve felt like “there but for the grace of God go I.”
God is more of a friend than any one person could ever be. I wonder…do you know him? Have you asked him to come into your heart? Have you crawled into his loving embrace and sought out his heart?

Know this:
  • You are unique
  • You are not alone
  • You are very special
  • You are one of a kind
  • There is no other exactly like you
  • You are valued and loved for who you are
  • You are the adopted daughter of a sovereign King
  • You have all you need inside to be a friend to others

Be strong and courageous
Seek and you shall find
Ask and the door will be opened to you
Practice Hospitality
Be encouraged….sometimes we seem to be looking so hard for something we don’t realise it’s right there in front of our very eyes.
Love you mate xx

1 comment:

Karen A-D said...

I loved this Devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries!!!!

Does God Really Care about Me?

by: Lysa TerKeurst
“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings" Psalm 61:1-4 (NIV)

Do you ever feel lonely?
Recently, I was at an event full of people. Everyone else seemed gabby and like they were effortlessly making easy connections with others. I just felt out of sorts. Someone had said something to me earlier that day that hurt my feelings and knocked me off kilter. It was one of those, “I would really like to be at home alone, in a bubble bath, eating something chocolate” kind of nights. But I had to go to this outing, so here I was – feeling lonely.

My shifting emotions caused me to get in such a down state, I even started wondering if God cared about me.

I politely smiled my way through the evening, and finally got to go home. As I crawled into bed that night, I asked Jesus, “Why am I letting some thoughtless comment made by someone affect me like this?”

There was no deep explanation. There was no Bible verse that instantly popped into my head. There was no sudden rush of peace through my heart. Only a very gentle reminder in the depths of my soul that Jesus loves me - insecurities and all.

Jesus loves me, that simple little song I learned all those years ago. Very simple, yet so powerfully profound, that one statement grounds me in the truth of who God says I am. Friends can’t make you feel accepted all the time. Accomplishments will never truly make you feel secure. Having lots of people around you does not mean you won’t ever feel lonely. And chocolate, while it is deliciously distracting, is just a little too temporary.

So, I turn to the One who is Everlasting, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel - God with us. I draw close to Him so He can help me separate solid truth from shifting emotion.

See if you can identify with any of the shifting emotions listed below. Then, rejoice as you read God’s solid truths upon which we can find a firm place to stand and a sure place to park our feelings.

Shifting Emotion:
I don’t always feel noticed by other people. Everyone just seems to be wrapped up in their own lives. Sometimes I even wonder if God notices me.

Solid Truth:
God not only notices us, He is with us at all times. We are to keep ourselves in God’s love whether we feel Him or not. By praying, and filling our minds with God’s truth, His love will grow in us and through us. Then we won’t be so consumed with wanting others to notice us. We will become people who notice others and let God’s love shine on them. Jude 1:20-21, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (NIV)

Shifting Emotion:
I don’t feel very loved. Therefore, I don’t feel like being very loving towards others.

Solid Truth:
We are dearly loved by God. His love enables us to display compassion, kindness and patience even when we don’t feel like it. Colossians 3:12, “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (NIV)

Shifting Emotion:
Does God really care about this situation I’m in?

Solid Truth:
God is with us. As we cry out to Him, we are reminded of His help. Proverbs 61:1-4, “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” (NIV)

Dear Lord, Help me rid my mind and heart of the doubts shifting emotions cause, and be filled with only Your solid truths. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Print these solid truths off and carry them with you. When shifting emotions start to tug at your heart, be reminded of God’s truths that can turn around any situation.

What are some other verses that might specifically apply to areas of struggle for you right now?

How might it help to keep these verses close at hand and reflect on them often?

Power Verses:
Matthew 7:24-25, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (NIV)