I’ve avoided writing this post for a while, because I was scared that if I did write it, I would pack my bags and be on the next plane home within an hour.
The first week in DC was the honeymoon phase – I was learning a new job, I went out on a date, I explored the city….then it hit me
“WOW, I just moved my entire life to this strange city. What on earth was I thinking?!”
As much as I love DC and my job, I have been more lonely than I have ever been in my entire life! That sounds a bit dramatic, but for 4 years, I was at Liberty University, where I was surrounded by thousands of people, and I had a whole community that I could call on at anytime. Whenever I wanted to, I could call up a friend and have someone to go to dinner with me, jog around campus together, come up to my room and watch a movie, or walk with me while I poured out my heart. Even when I was back home, there are 8 people in my family, so I always had someone right there for me! Whether I needed a shoulder to cry on, or someone to go get coffee with me, there has always been someone in close proximity for me!
In my new beautiful city of DC, I have yet to make a lot really solid friends. My roommates are super sweet, but they have all been here for awhile and have established community here. There have been many nights when I’ve come home, gone for a run, made dinner for myself and found things to entertain myself.
To be honest, I think I need this season of loneliness. As much as I hate to admit it, and as much as I’ve cried to the Lord to give me friends immediately, I’m learning things that I know I could not learn any other way.
So, I’ve complied a few thoughts on things I’m currently learning through my loneliness. This is by no means extensive, but I hope that it encourages you in whatever stage of life you are in!
1) I’m learning how dependent I have been on people, and not the Lord.
As hard as it is to swallow, I’ve never realized just how much I’ve puffed myself up with pride in the past, based off of how “popular” I thought I was! It’s so easy when I’m surrounded by people to run to a person to satisfy my desire for companionship. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the body of believers, and I believe that we are designed to live in community with one another. However, I had unknowingly put people in the place of my Lord in my life.
In the past…
When I’ve been sad or upset about something, I’ve gone to a friend’s shoulder to cry on and receive a hug and their sympathy instead of going to the Lord to comfort my heart!
When I’ve been lonely, I’ll call someone up (usually a guy friend) to come and fulfill that need in my heart to feel loved and desired instead of seeking my Great Lover to satisfy my heart and deepest desires.
When I’ve been excited about something, I’ve gone to friends to cheer for me and to celebrate instead of going to my Father in thankfulness and seeking to rejoice in Him and with Him!
When I’ve been angry, I’ve vented to any available person who would lend an ear to me for more than 5 minutes instead of working out my problems before the throne!
This season of loneliness is making me aware how dependent i was on others in the past. I had tried to place an impossible burden on them of meeting my needs and desires that only my Savior can meet.
2) I’m meditating on Scripture more than I ever have in my life!
While I could sulk and throw myself a grand old pity party (obviously I would be the only one in attendance!) and dwell on how I have no friends, I’ve chosen to fill my head with God’s truth!
Psalm 25 has been capturing my heart’s attention, and I’ve been dwelling on the first verse. The Lord has been revealing to me how many things other than Him that I lift up my soul to, and I’m learning to lift up my soul to Him and Him only!
Beloved, I don’t know where life finds you right now. Whether you find yourself in the exact same boat, and just needed a breath of encouragement, or whether you’re surrounded by a million friends and this serves as a caution to you. Always, always, always make sure that Christ is first in your heart! It’s easier said than done.
I challenge you to seek out some alone time with the Lord to really search out your heart. There are always things that we need to hand over to our Father! Lay those down before His throne and rest in the fact that He loves you!