We equate loneliness with isolation; and yet, we often find ourselves at our loneliest in the midst of a crowd. In my own journey, I have often found myself lost and alone while surrounded by thousands of beating hearts, whether it be at a concert or on a busy city street. I’ve been alone while surrounded by family and friends, wishing they could see the war behind my eyes. You see, for me, the pain of loneliness has been most devastating when I’m misunderstood, disregarded, or ignored.
Going to a movie, a coffee shop, or a baseball game by myself are moments I savor, full of self-reflection and silence. Yet, suffering with anxiety and depression while those around me just don’t “get” or “understand” what I’m going through brings incredible loneliness…Pursuing a career in the arts while having little-to-no success has left me very much alone, confused, and terrified within the realm of an uncertain future. (Side note: I recently went to see “The Revenant” by myself, which meant I didn’t have to share my Junior Mints or popcorn with ANYONE! Total win!)
I wish I could say that loneliness has slowly disappeared as I have grown older…I mean, come on, I’m married, our families are nearby, I’ve made some great friends, and I’m constantly connecting with others through social media. And yet, when it’s all said and done, the cry of loneliness still visits me on occasion, regardless of when and where.
I am convinced that the loneliness in our souls is the cry for God within the human heart. You see, I believe that we are caught in a divine romance, torn between two lovers – God and ourselves.
Is there someone, anyone?…Someone who understands, someone who cares?
“Where are you in my broken heart?
Everything seems to fall apart
Everything feels rusted over
Tell me that you’re there”
– Switchfoot, “Vice Verses”
When I am alone and weary, that has been the request of my soul, asking for God to show up, to comfort me, and to remind me that I am his beloved.
Other people cannot fully satisfy the loneliness within the human spirit, for we are all longing for a Lover beyond our comprehension. If we are not satisfied within ourselves, how could we possibly satisfy the void inside another person? And yet, we still strive for human acceptance and fulfillment, as if that is possible (when we know it to be a fallacy).
During moments of loneliness, I find myself seeking the heart of God, examining my soul, and dreaming of another chapter with numerous possibilities.
When I lived in Los Angeles, I was constantly on my own, working towards my dreams and seeking a life of purpose. Some of my favorite memories were going to Hermosa Beach, staring at the sea and crying out for God to meet me in that moment. I was alone, yet I was not alone. I was broken, but I knew I would find healing. I was frightened, yet I knew my Father was with me. Those are some of my favorite memories in the past 32 years of my life…Alone, but with the Creator of the universe, staring at the endless sea, full of imagination for what was yet to come.
Are you afraid of being alone? If so, I can completely relate to the fear and isolation that washes over our minds…However, you are not alone, regardless of how desperately your feelings scream in a world so disconnected, so broken, and so fragile. I believe Jesus is near to us all, especially the brokenhearted.
“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” – Acts 17:27
“He is not far from any one of us.”
As you experience loneliness, what if you began to seek the heart of the Father? What if you began asking God to show up in your brokenness? What if you began dreaming of a better future, full of possibilities?
You are not alone. We are not alone. God is near, has always been, and always will be.