|picture found on internet, altered by Caravan Sonnet|
One of the real aspects of Singleness is the issue of loneliness. Loneliness can strike has at all different times and cause a searing in our hearts and make singleness very painful. Often times we believe that if we have another person to walk this life with then we will not "feel lonely". Often times this is true... we have someone to call or talk with at the end of the long work week, we have a partner to go to the movies with and grab dinner with, and we have someone to share and experience the joys of everyday life with. Like many women who are single, I long to share my life with someone. I long to "live life together" and serve God with someone in our everyday lives. I long to share the celebrations and holidays with someone but even more so I long to share everyday life with someone. All of these things are natural and important.
I love that the Lord understands our hearts in this area of life. One of my favorite verses as a single lady is from Psalm 68:6: "God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing." Sometimes as a single lady the loneliness that we can experience can feel like a "prison", but the beautiful thing is that we are "prisoners of hope" (Zechariah 9:12) friends. Our "prison" of singleness is not a prison of anything but hope when we place our lives in God's hands.
In this season of loneliness and singleness we must have courage to remember that God is at work, even in this difficult aspect of loneliness. One of my favorite quotes during this single season has been from Elisabeth Elliot's book, The Path of Loneliness. She says in chapter 3;
"The pain of loneliness is one way in which He wants to get our attention. We may be earnestly desiring to be obedient and holy. But we may be missing the fact that it is here, where we happen to be at this moment and not in another place or another time, that we may learn to love Him- here where it seems He is not at work, where He seems obscure or frightening, where He is not doing what we expected Him to do, where He is most absent. here and nowhere else is the appointed time. If faith does not go to work here, it will not work at all."
As we rest in this truth and this knowledge we can see that our joy is not dependent on our circumstances, as difficult as they might be, but in God who is always with us and who promises to never leave or forsake us. No matter what the world says, our single lives can be full of hope, trust, faith, and joy when we place our loneliness in God's hands. We can find joy with the psalmists verses;
“When you, God, when out before your people, when you
through the wilderness, the earth shook, the heavens poured down raid, before
God, the one of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel, you gave abundant
showers, O God. You refreshed your weary inheritance. Your people settled in
it, and from your bounty God, you provided for the poor.”
The Lord goes before us friends, even when we feel that we are in a wilderness and refreshes our poor spirits that may be entangled with loneliness. Hold on to this precious hope friends. He is good and He is always with us and while it is important to recognize this struggle we can place this struggle in His loving hands. Loneliness, even when you get married doesn't just "go away" and learning this lesson of trusting in God and making Him our central focus and most important love now will only help to strengthen our marriages in the future. Unfortunately I have seen so many wonderful christian women enter into marriage believing that will be the "cure" for their loneliness. What an impossible thing to place on a human- something that only God can fulfill.
As we work through this real pain of loneliness let us have courage to place this area into the one who loves us more than life so that in the future we do not place this on someone who was never meant to be the "cure" for what ails us. God always is with us friends and in that we can rest joyfully. He always provides just what we need, not only physically but for our emotional needs as well, especially our lonely hearts.