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The Difference Between Alone and Loneliness!!

So, I have prayed and prayed (and prayed some more) about writing this entry and I swear I asked God for something else to write about. However, here I am on this subject—a subject that is a little uncomfortable for me to write about; yet the Lord requires my obedience so here it goes.

I am sitting here reading a journal entry from 2001 and holding back tears as I look into my past life—a life characterized by personal struggle and loneliness. Perhaps what pains me most is finally understanding the fact that God was with me even in those low moments of my life. Still, it was my lack of knowledge at the time that kept me in bondage to those desperate feelings and negative emotions. I remember trying to numb the pain with everything from drugs to sex, only to end up feeling worse after each high or encounter. On one particular journal entry I cried out to the Lord and asked Him to just send me my mate so that I could finally have someone to share life with because I was tired of being lonely. Did I compromise my virtue as a result? Yes. Did I entertain ungodly relationships just to abate feelings of loneliness? Sure did!

I wrote these paragraphs just to note that I know what loneliness feels like. I lived in it for many, many years so when I am connected to people that struggle with this emotion I am able to minister to them from a place of biblical accuracy AND experience.

I have gotten numerous emails, inboxes and prayer requests from both men and women who have written asking me if a person is part of God’s will for their lives. Most have admitted that many of the relationships they are asking about are really just a cover for loneliness. Still, most of the communications have been quite lengthy as they have gone through great depths to explain, really convince me, (well not really me, but themselves) that the person they are inquiring about must be God’s will for their lives. Often they began their requests praising the person’s commitment to their careers, their faithfulness to the Lord and much more, only to end the letter saying that the person they are inquiring about is married, separated, in a relationship with someone or just otherwise unavailable. I know you’re probably thinking, why would a person request prayer about something like this, but the reality is, the negative emotion of loneliness has the potential to blind our ability to see answers even when they’re right in front of us.

So with great compassion, I find myself carefully crafting responses to these beautiful people and while most of them are delivered with a soft approach, many times I have to be very direct and brutally honest with them. Some have taken offense and unfriended me, and I don’t have a problem with that because above everything I am responsible for delivering a message that aligns with the Word of God—one that is uncompromsied by my personal or popular opinion.

Here is a response I have been permitted to share and I pray it blesses you as much as it has blessed this young lady:

Dear so and so,

I commend your great courage for taking the steps necessary to bring this situation in your life into the light of God’s Word and allowing Him to direct your path where a godly resolution is concerned. Additionally, I thank you for considering me faithful and trustworthy enough to confide in and for giving me the opportunity to pray with you. I want to start this communication by first telling you that I love you with the love of the Lord and everything I share with you from this point forward will be strictly as advised by the Holy Spirit and in alignment with the Word of God. Now, with that stated, I have to first say that I am so honored that you are able to hear the voice of the Lord for yourself. Since the beginning of time, God’s has sought a personal relationship with you and more than ever He longs to speak with you about the details of your life. As a baseline, He has given you His Word which will allow you to hone your listening skills. Given that God only speaks in line with His Word, you can use it as a guide to judge what you are hearing and to ensure you are hearing right. As it relates to the reason for your email, I must say that I have not in all my study of the Word found a scriptural basis that condones adultery. If the man you believe God has spoken to you about is married, I, based on what the Word of God says in Mark 10:9, can only suggest that you are most likely misinformed. Marriage is a covenant relationship God expects to span our entire life and as a result He admonishes man (or woman) not to try and separate it. At this point, your deciding that you are going to be faithful to this man even though he has a wife and is committed to her, is in direct opposition to the Word of God. I encourage you to seek God for next steps knowing that He is more than able to give you a man that is able to love, honor, cherish and commit to you in the same manner in which this man has committed to his wife. You are God’s elect daughter and He has a special purpose for you that is specific and unique to you. Don’t let your feelings of loneliness cause you to doubt that and settle for being a mistress instead of a wife.

I am telling you this from the perspective of a woman who herself has struggled with great feelings of loneliness and had to learn to trust God where my desire to be in a relationship was concerned. You are precious in God’s sight and worth more than the stolen moments and leftovers a married man can offer. I encourage you to seek God and His healing hand for your wholeness. I can tell from the tone of your letter that you truly honor marriage and really want your own husband but have yet to cross that path. Still, don’t allow time to cause you to be desperate and settle for less than God’s best.

I said that to say that you are one encounter away from the change you have been praying and believing God for. Don’t let the enemy trick you into thinking that your life is on hold until you meet that mate, get that job, or buy that house. Your life is NOW! and the very days that once seemed so hard to maneuver through will soon serve as the platform for your success in every arena.

Cheesette

If you are reading this I want you to understand that there is a difference between loneliness and being alone. To be alone means to be separate from others or set apart. It is merely a term that describes a person’s position in life. However, loneliness has nothing to do with a person’s position and everything to do with their emotional state of being.

Dictionary.com describes loneliness as a state of discontentment resulting from lack of companionship.It can also be describe as depression or unhappiness occurring as a result of being alone. Loneliness happens when we allow our state of mind to determined by our position in life. I know we have all heard the saying, “Just because I am alone, doesn’t mean I am lonely.” I whole-heartedly agree with this statement, but for a huge part of my life I allowed my position to define my state of mind. And now that I have gained wisdom and a godly perspective I realize that my state of mind must and should have been defined by the Word of God alone.

Everyone has heard me say that when I begin to desire marriage that I stopped going to Singles Ministry events in order to focus more on becoming marriage minded. However, what I need to add is that during the five years I was part of the Singles Ministry I had the awesome opportunity to really focus on building a personal relationship with Christ and becoming a whole person. Prior to Singles Ministry I will admit I was quite desperate for marriage. At the time, I thought if marriage as the solution to my loneliness, but the reality was Jesus was the answer and had been all along.

Posted in Blog on June 4, 2014.