You do not belong here.
You are no longer permitted
to take up residence in my life.
Your crushing weight
and sharpened claws
no longer have a hold on my heart.
I am whole
I am loved
I am fierce
I am no longer in need of you
I never was.
–an open letter to loneliness
Whether it’s because of a broken heart, or moving cities, or diminished self-worth due to life’s unwarranted circumstances, we have all felt lonely at one point or another in our lives. Maybe you’re living in that place right now. Maybe it comes and goes, much like a relationship that you know you should leave behind but can’t bear to part with. Maybe the feelings of loneliness have become so normal to you that they are the only comfortable thing left in your life, the only thing that you can truly rely upon to be there at the end of the day. Sometimes we get so accustomed to feeling alone, that that feeling of being by ourselves is the only way that we know how to cope with the cutting feelings of rejection.
I’ve experienced my fair share of loneliness, and it is a bitter relationship, to say the least. There is no love lost between the two of us because there was never any love there in the first place. Loneliness weasels its way into our hearts and our minds, weaving elaborate tales out of simple and mundane circumstances, and planting toxic feelings where nothing but harmony and acceptance were meant to grow. I have had seasons of such crippling loneliness that it feels like people are intentionally choosing to push me to the outskirts of life. I’ve let the fear of being alone sow the seeds of paranoia and depression into my mind, and those weeds are exceptionally hard to uproot.
So how do we guard ourselves against the creeping and scheming ways of loneliness?
By reminding ourselves (every day if we must) that we are not alone.
That we are never forgotten, and never will be.
That we have people surrounding us that love us, care for us, and want to support us no matter what we’re going through.
That we have a God, who is with us every step of the way, and every breath of the day (even if we can’t feel his nearness).
Even when our mind is screaming at us that we are alone and that no one cares about us, that no one could ever want us, we have to remember that those are the lies whispering in our ears. We are already loved, we are already cared for, we are already wanted, and we have been the whole time. Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds us to be “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” There’s never been a second of our lives that we’ve had to go through all alone.
God cares deeply for us because we are his most treasured creation. We are not alone in this life; we are surrounded by people who care about every aspect of our lives and are willing to carry us through the storms if necessary. And surrounding and covering us all is a God who cares so deeply for us that he sent his only son to die for us so that we could have a closer relationship with him. He wants to be involved in every area of our lives and to sustain us through the hills and valleys of life.
We are not alone. You are not alone. I am not alone. Those thoughts that tell you that no one could ever want you, that you’re not worthy of being loved, that you’re better off being alone because no one would want to be around you anyways, they are all lies! Yes, there will be days when the waves of loneliness will crash over you (and me), when it feels like you’re about to sink from the weight of it all. But it’s on those days that we need to look up and cling to the truth that we are already chosen and loved. Some days will be harder than others, but together we can banish the deceptions that loneliness throws at us, and live in the realization that God loves us and that he will never abandon us. Live in that truth today friends, and evict those feelings of loneliness from your hearts, you need that space for more precious things.